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Explore campaign finance figures in Virginia’s House races

Welcome to the Friday, October 22, Brew. 

By: Doug Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Take a deep dive into our coverage of campaign finance in Virginia’s House races
  2. A look back at government responses to the coronavirus pandemic, Oct. 19-23, 2020
  3. #FridayTrivia: By this date in 2011, how many states had enacted congressional redistricting maps?

Take a deep dive into our coverage of campaign finance in Virginia’s House races

Ballotpedia has published a series of articles analyzing candidate fundraising in the 2021 Virginia House of Delegates elections. These articles are part of a larger partnership with Transparency USA to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections.

Collecting campaign finance information for federal elections is a relatively straightforward process: all candidates running for federal office must file with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) which compiles and released data in bulk with a standardized format.

This information is less readily available in state-level elections where each state has its own campaign finance agency with its own standards for reporting, processing, and publishing campaign finance data. Transparency USA, a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3), has streamlined access to this information allowing us to provide a similar level of detailed financial information for state-level races.

As part of a pilot program, we have worked with Transparency USA to collect information in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In 2022, we plan to expand this informative campaign finance coverage to state executive and state legislative races across the country

In Virginia, the only state on the list above holding state legislative elections this year, Democrats have a 55-45 House majority. There are 93 districts with both a Democratic and Republican candidate on the ballot this Nov. 2, a decade high for the chamber. This is also the first election cycle since 1999 with Democrats defending a majority in the chamber.

Ballotpedia has identified 22 battleground districts in the chamber—16 held by Democrats and six by Republicans—shown below:

Here’s a comprehensive list of the items we’ve written on candidate fundraising in these contests:

Plus, we have several more stories planned between now and election day on both Ballotpedia News and here in the Brew.

Keep reading 

A look back at government responses to the coronavirus pandemic, Oct. 19-23, 2020

Although the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was confirmed on Jan. 21, 2020, it wasn’t until March when the novel coronavirus upended life for most Americans. Throughout the year, states issued stay-at-home orders, closed schools, restricted travel, issued mask mandates, and changed election dates. We periodically look back at what was happening one year ago at this time. 

Here are some of the policy changes that happened one year ago between Oct. 19 and 23. To read more of our past coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, click here

Monday, Oct. 19, 2020

  • Election changes:
    • The North Carolina State Board of Elections directed counties to accept absentee/mail-in ballots received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 12 and postmarked on or before Election Day. The state board of elections also issued new guidance on how voters could resolve problems with their absentee/mail-in ballots.
    • The U.S. Supreme Court declined to block the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order extending the receipt deadline for mail-in ballots to Nov. 6 for ballots postmarked on or before Election Day.

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
    • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) announced he would extend an executive order allowing local governments to impose mask requirements through the end of the year.
  • Election changes:
    • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit declined to block the extension of North Carolina’s absentee/mail-in ballot return and receipt deadlines. As a result, ballots would be accepted if they were postmarked on or before Election Day and received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 12.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 

  • Election changes:
    • The Iowa Supreme Court upheld an Iowa law barring county election officials from sending absentee/mail-in ballots to voters who omitted information on their ballot application forms.
    • The U.S. Supreme Court, on a 5-3 vote, reinstated Alabama’s prohibition against curbside voting.
  • Federal government responses:
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance changing the definition of close contact for an individual infected with coronavirus. Under previous guidelines, close contact was defined as someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case. The new guidance defined a close contact as someone who was within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
    • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) ordered nursing homes and assisted living facilities to allow children to visit residents indoors. His order also allowed outdoor visits regardless of a facility’s case count, as long as visitors and residents practiced social distancing and wore masks.

Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

  • Election changes:
    • Texas’ Third Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s Oct. 14 ruling that suspended Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) order restricting the number of absentee/mail-in ballot return locations to one per county.
    • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled election officials could not reject a mail-in ballot because the signature on the ballot return documents did not appear to match the voter’s signature on file.

For the most recent coronavirus news, including the latest on vaccines and mask mandates, subscribe to our daily newsletter, Documenting America’s Path to Recovery.

Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: By this date in 2011, how many states had enacted congressional redistricting maps?

In Wednesday’s Brew, we gave an update on redistricting following the 2020 census. As of Oct. 21, four states—Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, and Oregon—have adopted and enacted new congressional district maps. By this date, Oct. 22, in 2011, following the 2010 census, how many states had enacted congressional district maps?

  1. 3
  2. 48
  3. 13
  4. 24


Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #309: October 21, 2021

Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery. Today we look at:

  • An announcement about nonessential travel in Hawaii
  • A bill limiting gubernatorial emergency powers in North Carolina
  • Vaccine distribution
  • School mask requirements
  • State proof-of-vaccination requirements and policies
  • Federal responses

We are committed to keeping you updated on everything from mask requirements to vaccine-related policies. We will keep you abreast of major developments—especially those affecting your daily life. Want to know what we covered Tuesday? Click here.

Upcoming news

What is changing in the next week?

Nebraska (Republican trifecta): On Oct. 21, Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) announced he was allowing inpatient elective surgeries to resume on Oct. 22. Ricketts paused elective surgeries at most hospitals in August because of a surge in coronavirus cases. 

Since our last edition

What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.

Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): On Oct. 19, Gov. David Ige (D) announced that vaccinated Hawaii residents and domestic visitors can resume nonessential travel to the state and between the islands beginning Nov. 1.

New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): On Oct. 20, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) issued an executive order requiring employees of new and potential state contractors who enter, work at, or provide services in a state agency location to show proof of coronavirus vaccination or receive a weekly coronavirus test.

North Carolina (divided government): On Oct. 20, the state House of Representatives passed the Emergency Powers Accountability Act 65-45. The Act limits gubernatorial emergency declarations to seven days unless the Council of State—a 10-person group that includes the attorney general and secretary of state, among others—approves an extension. The bill would also require the governor to seek the legislature’s approval for emergencies lasting longer than 45 days. The state Senate passed the Act 27-15 on Sept. 8. It now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper (D) for his signature. 

Vaccine distribution

We last looked at vaccine distribution in the Oct. 19 edition of the newsletter. As of Oct. 20, the states with the highest vaccination rates as a percentage of total population (including children) were:

The states with the lowest rates were:

School mask requirements

Read more: School responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during the 2021-2022 academic year

We last looked at school mask requirements on Oct. 14. Since then, no states have changed their school mask requirement policies.

State proof-of-vaccination requirements and policies

Read more: State government policies about proof-of-vaccination (vaccine passport) requirements

State governments have enacted various rules around the use of proof-of-vaccination requirements. In some cases, states have banned state or local governments from requiring that people show proof of vaccination. Other states have assisted in the creation of digital applications—sometimes known as vaccine passports—that allow people to prove their vaccination status and, in some cases, bypass COVID-19 restrictions.  

Overview

  • Twenty states have passed legislation or issued orders prohibiting proof-of-vaccination requirements at some or all levels of government. 
  • Five states have assisted in the creation of digital vaccination status applications or enacted orders or laws exempting vaccinated people from some restrictions. 

Since Oct. 14, one state has issued a statewide order requiring proof of vaccination in some circumstances. No state has issued orders or enacted laws banning proof-of-vaccination requirements. 

Details

  • On Oct. 18, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued an order requiring indoor events with more than 1,000 attendees and outdoor events with more than 10,000 attendees to verify that people 12 and older have received a COVID-19 vaccine or tested negative for COVID-19 within the last 72 hours. The order takes effect Nov. 15.

Federal responses

Read more: Political responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • On Oct. 20, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized booster shots of Johnson & Johnson’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines. The FDA also authorized people to mix vaccine doses from different pharmaceutical companies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was scheduled to meet Oct. 21 to consider the FDA’s authorization.
  • On Oct. 19, the U.S. Supreme Court declined an emergency request to block Maine Gov. Janet Mills’ (D) healthcare worker vaccine requirement. A group of healthcare workers sued the governor because the mandate does not allow for religious exemptions. The mandate takes effect Oct. 28. 

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of other federal, state, and local government activity, private industry responses, and lawsuits related to the pandemic. 

On Oct. 20, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that the city’s coronavirus vaccine requirement would extend to all city employees. Additionally, individuals who receive their first dose before the Oct. 29 vaccination deadline will receive a $500 bonus in their paycheck.



Your questions answered via Ballotpedia’s candidate survey

Welcome to the Thursday, October 21, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Expansion Project brings your questions to candidates in six cities
  2. How many state legislative vacancies have opened this year? Ballotpedia has the numbers
  3. San Francisco school board recall elections scheduled for Feb. 15

Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Expansion Project brings your questions to candidates in six cities

Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey offers candidates the opportunity to connect with voters by answering questions that speak to who they are as a person and what their motivations are for seeking political office as well as questions about their message and policies. In 2020, 4,745 candidates completed the Candidate Connection survey.

This year, Ballotpedia launched the Candidate Connection Expansion Project to give voters a more direct connection to the candidates they elect. Our readers in six pilot cities submitted custom questions for their candidates. An advisory board selected between three to five questions in each city to be incorporated into our candidate survey.

As of Oct. 20, 2021, 52 candidates running for office in all six cities have answered the questions submitted by Ballotpedia readers like you. The respondents include five mayoral candidates—four in Minneapolis and one in Atlanta.

In Atlanta, both candidates for city council District 9—Devin Barrington-Ward and Dustin Hillis—answered community questions in their Candidate Connection surveys. Selected responses from both are reproduced below:

What do you think about the transit options currently available in Atlanta? Would you make any changes?

Barrington-Ward: Transit options overwhelmingly favor bus service and the rail service that is available favors communities with high incomes and more access. I would shift our transit expansion projects to prioritize northwest, west, and southwest Atlanta communities and ensure that low income communities are afforded opportunities to work on these projects to help increase household incomes.

Hillis: I believe bus routes should be modified to go more places, more frequently – with the priority being areas where residents need and rely on public transportation the most. I supported the More MARTA plan, which will bring a new and full-sized Bankhead MARTA station to District 9 and more light rail lines.

What plans do you have regarding infrastructure?

Barrington-Ward: Use large public infrastructure projects to address issues around transportation, housing, and climate change while also putting people to work as a means of reducing poverty, income disparities, and crime throughout District 9 and Atlanta.

Hillis: I support the city going to voters in May 2022 to approve the Renew Atlanta Bonds and TSPLOST 2.0 in order to fund hundreds of millions of dollars more in much-needed infrastructure improvements.

What question would you have for a candidate running for political office in your local elections? Let us know—maybe your nomination could make it into a future survey!

Keep reading

How many state legislative vacancies have opened this year? Ballotpedia has the numbers

A vacancy opening in Congress, as last happened with Rep. Steve Stivers’ (R) resignation in May to serve as president of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, often invites national media coverage and attention. However, vacancies opening in state legislative chambers tend to draw less attention. Starting in 2019, Ballotpedia has published publicly available articles summarizing each state legislative vacancy that opened in a given year, how and when it was filled, and whether control of the seat changed as a result.

So far in 2021, there have been 113 state legislative vacancies opening in 41 states. A plurality (52) were opened when the legislator resigned, with another 20 opening when a legislator died. The remaining vacancies include 37 that opened when the legislator took a different office and four that opened when a legislator was removed from office.

Seventy-two of the 113 vacancies opened this year (64%) have been filled. Forty-two of those vacancies were filled via appointment and 30 were filled via special election. This year, there have been three seats where a legislator of a different party filled a vacancy—two where a Republican legislator succeeded a Democrat and one where a Democrat succeeded a Republican.

In 2019, the last odd-numbered year, 177 state legislative vacancies opened across 45 states. Republicans lost a net two seats owing to vacancies opening in 2019, while Democrats and independents each gained a net one seat.

Keep reading 

San Francisco school board recall elections scheduled for Feb. 15

Recall elections against three of the seven members of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education in California have been scheduled for Feb. 15, 2022. Petitions to recall board members Gabriela López, Alison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga were certified in October 2021.

Recall sponsor Siva Raj said the effort was “a campaign to get politics out of education…What we saw consistently was a pattern where the school board leadership focused on a lot of political stunts and symbolic gestures like trying to rename schools, and doing that ultimately badly.”

In response to the recall effort, López said, “The people who are behind this don’t know us, they don’t know our work, they don’t know what we’ve been doing, they don’t know what we are dedicated to…They hear what’s out there and they recognize this is an opportunity to bring down someone who is me.”

All three board members named in the recall petitions were first elected to the board on Nov. 6, 2018. They received the most votes in an at-large election, defeating 16 other candidates. The other four members of the board were not eligible for recall at the same time as López, Collins, and Moliga as they had not served in their current terms for six months. They were elected or re-elected to the board on Nov. 3, 2020.

To get the recall on the ballot, recall supporters had 160 days to collect signatures from 10% of registered voters in the city. The total number of signatures needed was 51,325 per board member, and the deadline to submit them was Sept. 7. If a majority of voters cast ballots in favor of the recall on Feb. 15, the mayor of San Francisco will appoint replacements.

Ballotpedia has tracked 81 school board recall efforts against 209 board members so far in 2021—the highest number of school board recall efforts we have tracked in one year. The next-highest year was in 2010 with 38 recall efforts against 91 school board members.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Keep reading



San Francisco school board recall elections scheduled for Feb. 15

Recall elections against three of the seven members of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education in California have been scheduled for Feb. 15, 2022. Petitions to recall board members Gabriela López, Alison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga were certified in October 2021.

Recall supporters said they were frustrated that schools in the district remained closed for nearly a year in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. They also said they were upset that the board had spent time voting to rename 44 buildings in the district rather than focusing on opening schools. At a board meeting on April 6, 2021, members unanimously voted to rescind the approval of the renaming process. At the same meeting, they voted to return students to full-time in-person instruction at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

All three board members named in the recall petitions were first elected to the board on Nov. 6, 2018. They received the most votes in an at-large election, defeating 16 other candidates. The other four members of the board were not eligible for recall at the same time as López, Collins, and Moliga as they had not served in their current terms for six months. They were elected or re-elected to the board on Nov. 3, 2020.

To get the recall on the ballot, recall supporters had 160 days to collect signatures from 10% of registered voters in the city. The total number of signatures needed was 51,325 per board member, and the deadline to submit them was Sept. 7. If a majority of voters cast ballots in favor of the recall on Feb. 15, the mayor of San Francisco will appoint replacements.

Ballotpedia has tracked 81 school board recall efforts against 209 board members so far in 2021—the highest number of school board recall efforts we have tracked in one year. The next-highest year was in 2010 with 38 recall efforts against 91 school board members.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Additional reading:



Kyle Bailey resigns from Maine state House

Maine state Rep. Kyle Bailey (D-27) resigned on Oct. 15, citing a new job opportunity. “Due to an exciting professional opportunity that has arisen recently, I am unable to complete my full term as state representative,” Bailey said in a statement.

Bailey was first elected to represent Maine’s 27th House District in 2020, defeating Roger Densmore (R), 59% to 41%. 

If there is a vacancy in the Maine State Legislature, the governor must call for a special election. The political committees representing the vacant seat are responsible for setting all deadlines. The winner of the election will serve the remainder of Bailey’s two-year term, which was set to expire in December 2022. 

So far in 2021, there have been 113 state legislative vacancies in 41 states. Two of those vacancies occurred in Maine.

Additional reading:



Roundup of noteworthy court challenges involving redistricting (Oct. 19)

Here’s a summary of recent court challenges involving redistricting.

Former Republican elected officials file lawsuit challenging Oregon’s congressional map

On Oct. 11, four former Oregon elected officials—former Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno (R), former Oregon House Republican leader Gary Wilhelms (R), former Mayor of The Dalles James Wilcox, and former Oregon House Speaker Larry Campbell (R)—filed a lawsuit with the Oregon Supreme Court challenging the validity of the state’s enacted congressional map. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs said the map was “an unconstitutional partisan gerrymandered redistricting map, as the Democrats drew the map with impermissible partisan intent to favor the Democratic Party, and [the map] will have impermissible partisan effects.” The plaintiffs requested the court declare the congressional map invalid and draw a different congressional map.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed the new congressional map into law on Sept. 27. It was approved by the Oregon House of Representatives 33-16 and approved by the Oregon State Senate 18-6.

ACLU, NAACP file lawsuit in federal court regarding South Carolina redistricting timeline

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP filed a lawsuit in federal court on Oct. 12 against the South Carolina legislature asking the court to set a deadline for legislators to return to session. South Carolina Senate President Harvey Peeler (R) canceled a special Senate session originally scheduled to begin Oct. 12 and indicated that lawmakers may not reconvene to address redistricting until December or January.

The ACLU and NAACP said the delay would prevent any potential lawsuits from being resolved before the new districts take effect. Leah Aden, deputy director of litigation at the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said “In every redistricting cycle for the last 50 years — since Congress enacted the Voting Rights Act — voters and others have been compelled to go to court to fix the legislature’s maps…The state’s refusal to tell the public when it will reconvene to take up its obligation to redraw the lines and make it difficult, if not impossible, to resolve any court challenge before the consequential 2022 primaries is unacceptable.”

Three-judge panel named for federal lawsuit asking Virginia to hold legislative elections in both 2021 and 2022

A three-judge panel was selected in a federal lawsuit filed by former state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Goldman that argues that the state’s November 2021 legislative elections with districts drawn after the 2010 census violates the state’s constitution and the Equal Protection Clause. Goldman filed the suit in July.

Goldman argued that Virginia should also hold legislative elections in November 2022 after the state completes redistricting since urban areas have seen increased population growth relative to other parts of the state. Goldman stated that votes in the areas where the population has risen more rapidly are less valuable than those in other parts of the state if the 2010 maps are used for the entire two-year cycle.

U.S. District Judge David Novak ruled the case could move forward and appointed himself, Fourth Circuit Judge Stephanie Thacker, and U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson to hear the case. Novak was appointed to the court by President Donald Trump (R), Thacker was appointed by President Barack Obama (D), and Jackson was appointed by President Bill Clinton (D).

Additional reading:



Nelson (R) and Eisner (D) advance to New Hampshire Rockingham 6 special general election

A special primary was held on Oct. 19 for the Rockingham 6 District seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Jodi Nelson (R) and Mary Eisner (D) advanced to the general election. Nelson defeated Neil Wetherbee and Thomas Cardon in the Republican primary. Eisner was unopposed in the Democratic primary. 

The general election is scheduled for Dec. 7. The candidate filing deadline passed on Aug. 27.

The special election was called after Anne Copp (R) left office due to moving out of the district on Aug. 5. Copp served from December 2020 to August 2021. She had previously served in the Merrimack 1 District from 2016 to 2018.

As of Oct. 19, five state legislative special elections have been scheduled in New Hampshire in 2021. Special elections were held for the Hillsborough 21 District on April 13, the Merrimack 23 District on June 8, and the Hillsborough 7 District on Sept. 7. A special election is scheduled for the Cheshire 9 District on Oct. 26. 

New Hampshire held 29 special elections between 2010 and 2020. The most held in one year during that period was 10 in 2017. 

Additional reading:



Redistricting update: Virginia redistricting commission’s legislative map deadline passes, Arkansas congressional redistricting veto referendum campaign announced

Here’s a summary of recent redistricting updates from Virginia and Arkansas.

In Virginia, the Redistricting Commission did not meet the Oct. 10 deadline to submit state legislative maps to the General Assembly. Under state law, the commission is given a 14 day extension to submit maps after “its initial failure to submit a plan to the General Assembly.” If the commission does not reconvene to draft maps, the authority to create new districts passes to the Virginia Supreme Court, which as of October 2021 was made up of a majority of justices appointed by a Republican-controlled legislature.

The Virginia Redistricting Commission is made up of four Democratic state legislators, four Republican legislators, and eight citizen members. The commission is also tasked with drawing a new congressional map, with an Oct. 25 deadline to submit maps to the legislature.

In Arkansas, an organization called Arkansans for a Unified Natural State announced on Oct. 9 that it would attempt to place both proposed congressional district map bills on the November 2022 general election ballot as veto referendums. On Oct. 13, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said he would neither sign nor veto the map bills, meaning they are set to become law 90 days after Oct. 13. The two map bills, submitted to the governor by the Arkansas General Assembly as HB 1982 and SB 743, are identical.

In order to qualify for the ballot, supporters of the veto referendums would need to gather 53,491 signatures from registered voters across at least 15 of the state’s counties within 90 days after the end of the special legislative session during which the bills were passed. Supporters of the referendums announced they would need to gather the required 53,491 signatures for each of the identical map bills.

Additional reading:



Voters in Cheshire County to decide New Hampshire House district special election on Oct. 26

A special election will be held on Oct. 26 to fill a vacant seat in the Cheshire 9 District of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Andrew Maneval (D) and Rita Mattson (R) are facing off in the special election. Mattson advanced to the special election after defeating Lucille Decker in the Sept. 7 Republican primary with 83.2% of the vote. Maneval was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The winner of the special election will serve until December 2022 and join Richard Ames (D) in representing the district. The seat became vacant after Douglas Ley (D) died from cancer on June 10. Ley had represented the district since 2012. He was re-elected in 2020 with 27.5% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 207-188 majority in the New Hampshire House with five vacancies. New Hampshire has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of October, 64 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. New Hampshire held 29 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

Additional reading:



U.S. Senate confirms Gelpí and O’Hearn to federal judgeships

The U.S. Senate confirmed two of President Joe Biden’s (D) federal judicial nominees to lifetime Article III judgeships on Oct. 18 and 19:

  1. Gustavo Gelpí was confirmed on Oct. 18 to the United States Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit by a vote of 52-41. Gelpí was nominated to the court on May 12 to replace Judge Juan Torruella, whose judicial service ended upon his death on Oct. 26, 2020. Gelpí was rated Well Qualified by the American Bar Association (ABA). To read more about ABA ratings, click here.
  2. Christine O’Hearn was confirmed on Oct. 19 to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey by a vote of 53-44. O’Hearn was nominated to the court on April 29 to replace Judge Robert Kugler, who assumed senior status on May 19, 2017. O’Hearn was rated Well Qualified by the ABA.

To date, 18 of Biden’s nominees have been confirmed. For historical comparison since 1981, the following list shows the date by which the past six presidents had 18 Article III judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate:

  1. President Donald Trump (R) – Dec. 13, 2017
  2. President Barack Obama (D) – Mar. 4, 2010
  3. President George W. Bush (R) – Nov. 13, 2001
  4. President Bill Clinton (D) – Nov. 20, 1993
  5. President George H.W. Bush (R) – Mar. 6, 1990
  6. President Ronald Reagan (R) – Oct. 29, 1981

As of this writing, nine Article III nominees are awaiting a confirmation vote from the U.S Senate, five nominees are awaiting a Senate Judiciary Committee vote to advance their nominations to the full Senate, and 19 nominees are awaiting a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Additional reading: