Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance three U.S. Court of Appeals nominees to the Senate floor for confirmation votes: L. Steven Grasz, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; Don Willett, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; and James Ho, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. This morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed motions to invoke cloture on the Grasz, Willett and Ho nominations, setting up confirmation votes for them next week. Currently there are 28 federal judicial nominees awaiting floor votes, including these three court of appeals nominees.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley also announced that Lisa Branch, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, is scheduled for a Judiciary Committee hearing next Wednesday, December 13th. This will be the last nominations hearing scheduled for 2017. By the end of the year, 13 court of appeals nominees and 34 district court nominees will have received hearings this year.

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

Number of total current and known future vacancies: 162

Courts of Appeals: 23

District/Specialty Courts*: 139

Number of pending nominees for current and known future vacancies: 46

Courts of Appeals: 9

District/Specialty Courts: 37

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

Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 28

Courts of Appeals: 3

District/Specialty Courts: 25

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate: 16

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals: 9

District/Specialty Courts: 6

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

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