Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Senate Judiciary Committee Keeps Humming Along

Despite the Senate’s recess, Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and his stalwart staff are keeping his committee very busy in reviewing and processing President Trump’s judicial nominees.

On Wednesday, the committee held a hearing on the nomination of Allison Jones Rushing to a Fourth Circuit seat in North Carolina and on five district-court nominations. Next Wednesday, it intends to hold a hearing on two Ninth Circuit nominations—Eric Miller (in Washington) and Bridget Bade (in Arizona) and one district-court nomination. The committee aims to report these nominations to the Senate floor by late November.

On Wednesday, November 14, the committee intends to hold a hearing on Third Circuit/New Jersey nominee Paul Matey and four district-court nominees. The committee aims to report these nominations to the Senate floor in early December.

Already pending on the Senate floor are one appellate nomination (Jonathan Kobes, CA8/South Dakota) and 31 district-court nominations. Two other appellate nominees—Eric Murphy and Chad Readler, each to a CA6 seat in Ohio—are awaiting their committee votes, as are nine district-court nominees.

So that’s a total of seven appellate nominees and 50 district-court nominees who should be ready for a Senate floor vote in December.

If these nominees are all confirmed, that will take President Trump’s two-year total to 36 federal appellate judges and 104 federal district judges—plus, of course, Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh.

By way of comparison: President Obama appointed 16 federal appellate judges and 44 federal district judges—plus Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan—during his first two years.

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