Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial-Nominations Update

A police officer walks in front of the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., May 13, 2021. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported out to the full Senate the first judicial nominees of the Biden administration. These included two circuit court picks. The vote on Ketanji Brown Jackson for the D.C. Circuit was 13–9 with two Republicans, Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn, voting aye with the committee Democrats. The vote for Candace Jackson-Akiwumi for the Seventh Circuit was 12–10, with Graham again crossing over in support.

Tomorrow the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a nomination hearing for federal circuit nominee Tiffany Cunningham, along with a district court nominee and four picks for various positions in the Justice Department, including assistant attorney general at the head of the Criminal Division.

Below is a full update on the status of President Biden’s judicial nominations.

Current and planned future vacancies: 112

Supreme Court: 0

Courts of Appeals: 16

District/Specialty Courts*: 96

Pending nominees for current and known future vacancies: 18

Courts of Appeals: 6

District/Specialty Courts*: 12

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings:

Nominee (Circuit) Original Nomination

Date

Days Since Original Nomination Both Blue Slips Returned? Judiciary Committee Hearing Date
Tiffany P. Cunningham (Federal) 4/19/21 36 N/A 5/26/21
Gustavo A. Gelpi (1st) 5/12/21 13 N/A Not yet scheduled
Eunice C. Lee (2nd) 5/12/21 13 Not yet scheduled
Veronica S. Rossman (10th) 5/12/21 13 Not yet scheduled

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Votes: 

Nominee (Circuit) Original Nomination Date Days Since Original Nomination Judiciary Committee Hearing Date
None

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Floor Votes: 

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Since Original Nomination Date Reported to Senate Floor
Ketanji Brown Jackson (D.C.) 4/19/2021 36 5/20/21
Candace Jackson-Akiwumi (7th) 4/19/2021 36 5/20/21

Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes:

Courts of Appeals: 2

District/Specialty Courts*: 3

All Nominees (via Judiciary Committee) Confirmed by the Senate during the 116th Congress: 

Supreme Court: 0

Courts of Appeals: 0

District/Specialty Courts*: 0

All Nominees (via Judiciary Committee) Confirmed by the Senate since Inauguration Day: 0

Supreme Court: 0

Courts of Appeals: 0

District/Specialty Courts*: 0

* Includes the Court of Federal Claims, Territorial Courts, and the International Trade Courts

All Article III Nominees Confirmed by the Senate since Inauguration Day: 0

Supreme Court: 0

Courts of Appeals: 0

District/International Trade Courts: 0

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