Ballotpedia releases federal judicial vacancy count for March

In this month’s federal judicial vacancy count, Ballotpedia tracked nominations, confirmations, and vacancies from March 3, 2020, to April 2, 2020. Ballotpedia publishes the federal judicial vacancy count at the start of each month.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Vacancies: There have been three new judicial vacancies since the February 2020 report. There are 75 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, 81 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.
  • Nominations: There have been three new nominations since the February 2020 report.
  • Confirmations: There have not been any new confirmations since the February 2020 report.
New vacancies

There were 75 vacancies out of 870 active Article III judicial positions, a total vacancy percentage of 8.6, which is 0.3 percentage points higher than the vacancy percentage in February 2020.

  • The nine-member U.S. Supreme Court does not have any vacancies.
  • One (0.6%) of the 179 U.S. Appeals Court positions is vacant.
  • 72 (10.6%) 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.

Three judges left active status, creating Article III life-term judicial vacancies. As Article III judicial positions, these vacancies must be filled by a nomination from the president. Nominations are subject to confirmation on the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.

  1. Judge James Selna assumed senior status on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
  2. Judge Harry Mattice assumed senior status on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
  3. Judge Carlos Murguia resigned from the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
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 April 2, 2020.

New nominations
President Trump has announced three new nominations since the February 2020 report.
  1. Hala Jarbou, to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  2. Cory Wilson, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
  3. Kristi Haskins Johnson, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

Since taking office in January 2017, President Trump has nominated 252 individuals to Article III positions.

New confirmations
Since March 3, 2020, the U.S. Senate has not confirmed any of President Trump’s nominees to Article III seats. As of April 2, 2020, the Senate has confirmed 193 of President Trump’s judicial nominees—138 district court judges, 51 appeals court judges, two Court of International Trade judges, and two Supreme Court justices—since January 2017.



About the author

Sara Reynolds

Sara Reynolds is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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