Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed President Trump’s 15th circuit-court nominee, Kyle Duncan. Nonetheless, the number of judicial nominees stacking up on the Senate floor continues to climb, with six circuit nominees and 29 district-court nominees presently awaiting confirmation votes.

To address the growing number of unconfirmed nominees, the Senate Rules and Administration Committee will vote later today on the Lankford Proposal, which would shorten post-cloture debate times. Under the proposed rule, Cabinet-level nominees, Supreme Court nominees, and Court of Appeals nominees could still be debated post-cloture for a maximum of 30 hours. But post-cloture debate for all other nominees would be capped at eight hours, with the exception of district-court nominees who would be capped at two hours.

Also today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to consider the nomination of Andy Oldham, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Mr. Oldham is the current General Counsel and former Deputy Solicitor General for the State of Texas, and is yet another outstanding nominee for the federal bench.

Here is this week’s update on federal judicial nominations:

Current and known future vacancies: 180

Courts of Appeals: 27

District/Specialty Courts*: 153

Pending nominees for current and known future vacancies: 72

Courts of Appeals: 12

District/Specialty Courts: 60

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

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Pending Both Blue Slips Returned? Judiciary Committee Hearing Date
Ryan Bounds (9th) 9/7/2017 230 No Not yet scheduled
Andrew Oldham (5th) 2/15/2018 69 Yes 4/25/2018
Britt Grant (11th) 4/12/2018 13 No Not yet scheduled
David Porter (3rd) 4/12/2018 13 No Not yet scheduled
Paul Matey (3rd) 4/12/2018 13 No Not yet scheduled

 Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Pending Judiciary Committee Hearing Date
Mark Bennett (9th) 2/15/2018 69 4/11/2018

 Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Floor Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Pending Date Reported to Senate Floor
Kurt Engelhardt (5th) 10/5/2017 202 2/8/2018
Michael Brennan (7th) 8/3/2017 265 2/15/2018
Joel Carson (10th) 12/20/2017 126 3/15/2018
John Nalbandian (6th) 1/24/2018 91 4/19/2018
Amy St. Eve (7th) 2/15/2018 69 4/19/2018
Michael Scudder (7th) 2/15/2018 69 4/19/2018

Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 35

Courts of Appeals: 6

District/Specialty Courts: 29

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate: 33

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals: 15

District/Specialty Courts: 17

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

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