Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

Last week, another nominee to a U.S. District Court was confirmed, bringing the total number of federal judicial nominees confirmed thus far to fourteen. It also marked the third time this year that the Democratic minority, in their relentless pursuit of obstruction, has required a cloture vote for a nominee originally nominated during the Obama administration.

Also last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture motions on Greg Katsas, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Dabney Friedrich, nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Both are expected to have confirmation votes following the Thanksgiving recess.

On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that he was scheduling a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for David Stras, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit, and Kyle Duncan, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, despite not receiving two positive blue slips from the respective nominees’ home state senators. That hearing is scheduled for November 29th.

Here is this week’s full update on federal judicial nominations.

Number of total current and known future vacancies: 161

Courts of Appeals: 23

District/Specialty Courts*: 138

Number of pending nominees for current and known future vacancies: 48

Courts of Appeals: 10

District/Specialty Courts: 38

*Includes the Court of Federal Claims and the International Trade Court

Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 20

Courts of Appeals: 1

District/Specialty Courts: 19

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate: 14

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals: 8

District/Specialty Courts: 5

Carrie Severino — Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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