Ballotpedia releases federal vacancy count for August

In this month’s federal vacancy count, Ballotpedia tracked nominations, confirmations, and vacancies from August 1 to August 28, 2019. Ballotpedia publishes the federal vacancy count on the last Wednesday of each month.
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Vacancies: There has been one new judicial vacancy since the July 2019 report. There are 103 vacancies out of 870 active Article III judicial positions on courts covered in this report. Including the United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States territorial courts, 112 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.
  • Nominations: There have been six new nominations since the July 2019 report.
  • Confirmations: There have been two new confirmations since the July 2019 report.
 
New vacancies
There were 103 vacancies out of 870 Article III judicial positions—11.8 percent, 1.3 percentage points lower than the vacancy percentage in July 2019.
 
  • The nine-member U.S. Supreme Court does not have any vacancies.
  • Four (2.2%) of the 179 U.S. Appeals Court positions are vacant.
  • 97 (14.3%) of the 677 U.S. District Court positions are vacant.
  • Two (22.2%) of the nine U.S. Court of International Trade positions are vacant.
 
A vacancy occurs when a judge resigns, retires, takes senior status, or passes away. Article III judges, who serve on courts authorized by Article III of the Constitution, are appointed for life terms.
 
The following judge vacated her active status, creating an Article III life-term judicial vacancy. As an Article III judicial position, this vacancy must be filled by a nomination from the president. Nominations are subject to confirmation on the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.
 
  • Judge Rebecca Smith assumed senior status on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
 
New nominations
President Donald Trump (R) has announced six new nominations since the July 2019 report:
 
  • Steven Menashi, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
  • Jodi Dishman, to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
  • Karen Marston, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
  • Richard Myers II, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
  • Sarah Pitlyk, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
  • Anuraag Singhal, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
 
Since taking office in January 2017, President Trump has nominated 199 individuals to Article III positions.
 
New confirmations
Since July 31, 2019, the United States Senate confirmed two of President Trump’s nominees to Article III seats. As of August 28, 2019, the Senate has confirmed 146 of President Trump’s judicial nominees—two Supreme Court justices, 43 U.S. appeals court judges, 99 U.S. district court judges, and two U.S. Court of International Trade judges.
 
  • Miller Baker, confirmed to a seat on the United States Court of International Trade.
  • Timothy Reif, confirmed to a seat on the United States Court of International Trade.
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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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