Bold Justice: 21 federal judicial nominees confirmed in July

Welcome to the August 5 edition of Bold Justice, Ballotpedia’s newsletter about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and other judicial happenings around the U.S. Starting with this issue, I’m handing the reins to Sara Reynolds, our top SCOTUS expert on staff. You’ll be in good hands with her knowledge and insight of the federal court system.

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The Federal Vacancy Count tracks vacancies, nominations, and confirmations to all United States Article III federal courts in a one-month period. This month’s edition includes nominations, confirmations, and vacancies from June 27 to July 31, 2019.

Highlights

  • Vacancies: There have been seven new judicial vacancies since the June 2019 report. As of July 31, 114 of 870 active Article III judicial positions on courts covered in this report were vacant—a vacancy percentage of 13.1 percent.

    Including the United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States territorial courts, 123 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.
     

  • Nominations: There have been two new nominations since the June 2019 report.
     
  • Confirmations: There have been 21 new confirmations since the June 2019 report. Vacancy count for July 31, 2019 A breakdown of the vacancies at each level can be found in the table below. For a more detailed look at the vacancies on the federal courts, click here.

Vacancy count for July 31, 2019

A breakdown of the vacancies at each level can be found in the table below. For a more detailed look at the vacancies on the federal courts, click here.

New vacancies

The following judges left active status, creating Article III vacancies. As Article III judicial positions, they must be filled by a nomination from the president. Nominations are subject to Senate confirmation.

Courts with the most vacancies

The Central District of California, the District of New Jersey, and the Southern District of New York have the most vacancies of the U.S. District Courts.

  • The Central District of California
    • Nine vacancies out of 28 total positions.
    • Longest vacancy: Five years. Judge Audrey Collins took senior status in October 2012 and retired from the court on August 1, 2014.
    • Most recent vacancy: One month. Judge Andrew Guilford assumed senior status on July 5, 2019. Three nominations are pending.
  • The District of New Jersey
    • Six vacancies out of 17 total positions.
    • Longest vacancy: Four and one-half years. Judge William Martini assumed senior status on February 10, 2015.
    • Most recent vacancy: Ten weeks. Judge Jose Linares retired May 16, 2019.
    • No nominations are pending.
  • The Southern District of New York
    • Six vacancies out of 28 total positions.
    • Longest vacancy: Four years. Judge Paul Crotty assumed senior status on August 1, 2015.
    • Most recent vacancy: Almost 10 months. Judge Richard Sullivan was elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit on October 11, 2018.

For more information on judicial vacancies during President Trump’s first term, click here.

New nominations

President Trump has announced two new nominations since the June 2019 report.

  • Lee Rudofsky, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
  • R. Austin Huffaker, to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

The president has announced 193 Article III judicial nominations since taking office January 20, 2017. The president named 69 judicial nominees in 2017 and 92 in 2018. For more information on the president’s judicial nominees, click here.

New confirmations

Between June 27 and July 31, 2019, the Senate confirmed 21 of the president’s nominees to Article III courts.

Since January 2017, the Senate has confirmed 144 of President Trump’s judicial nominees—99 district court judges, 43 appeals court judges, and two Supreme Court justices.

Need a daily fix of judicial nomination, confirmation, and vacancy information? Click here for continuing updates on the status of all federal judicial nominees.

Or, if you prefer, we also maintain a list of individuals President Trump has nominated.


We’ll be back September 9 with a new edition of Bold Justice.

 




About the author

Sara Reynolds

Sara Reynolds is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at sara.reynolds@ballotpedia.org

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