Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Scorecard on Appellate Confirmations

Kurt Engelhardt was confirmed to the Fifth Circuit yesterday, by a vote of 62-34. He is President Trump’s fourth confirmed nominee to that court; he was preceded by Don Willett, James Ho, and Kyle Duncan.

Michael Brennan was confirmed to the Seventh Circuit today, by a vote of 49-46.

Brennan’s fellow Seventh Circuit nominees, Michael Scudder and Amy St. Eve, have their confirmation votes scheduled for next Monday at 5:30 p.m. (Senate Democrats have, I gather, agreed to waive the votes on the pending cloture motions on these nominees.) Brennan, Scudder, and St. Eve will join Amy Coney Barrett as Trump’s four appointees to the Seventh Circuit.

The cloture motion on the Tenth Circuit nomination of Joel Carson passed today. The confirmation vote on Carson’s nomination is set for next Tuesday at noon.

The cloture motion on the Sixth Circuit nomination of John Nalbandian is in the process of passing as I write this. Nalbandian’s confirmation vote will also take place next Tuesday, right after Carson’s (as I understand it.) If all goes as expected, Nalbandian will join Amul Thapar, John Bush, and Joan Larsen as Trump’s four appointees to the Sixth Circuit.

With these confirmations, President Trump will have a total of 21 federal appellate confirmations less than 16 months into his term in office. By contrast, President Obama’s 21st federal appellate nominee was confirmed in October 2011, his 33rd month.

Ed Whelan — Ed Whelan is a leading commentator on nominations to the Supreme Court and the lower courts and on issues of constitutional law.

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