Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial-Nominations Update

The second session of the 116th Congress notably began with President Trump’s impeachment trial consuming the Senate’s attention, but as soon as it was over, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell returned to the business of confirming judges. Within a half hour of the Senate’s adjournment as a court of impeachment on February 5, McConnell filed cloture on five judicial nominations, including the elevation of district court judge Andrew Brasher to the Eleventh Circuit. All five nominees were confirmed last week, and McConnell declared, picking up a theme he previously touted, “My motto for the year is ‘leave no vacancy behind.’”

The Senate is in recess this week, but as detailed below, the total number of judges confirmed since inauguration day is approaching the 200 mark. Last week’s confirmations brought the total to 197. On Thursday, McConnell filed cloture on numbers 198 and 199, two district court judges for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico respectively.

Here is a full update on the status of President Trump’s judicial nominations:

Current and known future vacancies: 87

Courts of Appeals:  1

District/Specialty Courts*: 86

Pending nominees for current and known future vacancies:  39

Courts of Appeals: 0

District/Specialty Courts*:  39

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
None

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
None

 Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 6

Courts of Appeals: 0

District/Specialty Courts*: 6

Days Pending

  • # of pending nominees originally nominated > 600 days ago: 1
  • # of pending nominees originally nominated > 500 days ago: 1
  • # of pending nominees originally nominated > 400 days ago: 3
  • # of pending nominees originally nominated > 300 days ago: 3

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate during the 116th Congress: 112

Supreme Court: 0

Courts of Appeals: 21

District/Specialty Courts*: 91

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate since Inauguration Day: 197

Supreme Court: 2

Courts of Appeals: 51

District/Specialty Courts*: 144

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

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