Ballotpedia releases federal vacancy count for November

In this month’s federal vacancy count, Ballotpedia tracked nominations, confirmations, and vacancies from November 5 to December 2, 2019. Ballotpedia publishes the federal vacancy count at the start of each month.
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Vacancies: There has been one new judicial vacancy since the October 2019 report. There are 90 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, 98 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.
  • Nominations: There have been eight new nominations since the October 2019 report.
  • Confirmations: There have been seven new confirmations since the October 2019 report.
 
New vacancies
There were 90 vacancies out of 870 Article III judicial positions, a total vacancy percentage of 10.3, which is 0.5 percentage points lower than the vacancy percentage in October 2019.
  • The nine-member U.S. Supreme Court does not have any vacancies.
  • One (0.6%) of the 179 U.S. Appeals Court positions are vacant.
  • 87 (12.8%) 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.
 
One judge left 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 Daniel Hovland assumed senior status on the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota.
 
U.S. Court of Appeals vacancies
The following chart tracks the number of vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals from the inauguration of President Donald Trump (R) to the date indicated on the chart.
 
 
The following maps show the number of vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals at the inauguration of President Donald Trump (R) and as of December 1, 2019.
 
 
 
U.S. District Court vacancies
 
New nominations
President Donald Trump (R) has announced eight new nominations since the October 2019 report:
  • Andrew Brasher, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
  • John Cronan, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • Scott Hardy, to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
  • John Heil, to the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma.
  • John Hinderaker, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.
  • Iris Lan, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • Matthew Schelp, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
  • David Joseph, to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
 
Since taking office in January 2017, President Trump has nominated 234 individuals to Article III positions.
 
New confirmations
Since November 5, 2019, the United States Senate confirmed seven of President Trump’s nominees to Article III seats. As of December 2, 2019, the Senate has confirmed 164 of President Trump’s judicial nominees—112 district court judges, 48 appeals court judges, two Court of International Trade judges, and two Supreme Court justices—since January 2017.
 
  • Jennifer Philpott Wilson, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
  • Lee Rudofsky, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
  • William Nardini, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
  • Danielle Hunsaker, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
  • Barbara Lagoa, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
  • Robert J. Luck, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
  • Steven Menashi, confirmed to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
 



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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