In this month’s federal judicial vacancy count, Ballotpedia tracked nominations, confirmations, and vacancies from June 2, 2020, to July 1, 2020. Ballotpedia publishes the federal judicial vacancy count at the start of each month.
• Vacancies: There have been two new judicial vacancies since the May 2020 report. There are 73 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, 79 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.
• Nominations: There have been two new nominations since the May 2020 report.
• Confirmations: There have been three new confirmations since the May 2020 report.
There were 73 vacancies out of 870 active Article III judicial positions, a total vacancy percentage of 8.4.
• The nine-member U.S. Supreme Court does not have any vacancies.
• None of the 179 U.S. Appeals Court positions are vacant.
• 71 (10.5%) of the 673 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.
Two 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 Justin Walker was elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
2. Judge Brian Cogan assumed senior status on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
President Donald Trump (R) has announced two new nominations since the May 2020 report.
1. James P. Arguelles, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
2. Taylor McNeel, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.
Since taking office in January 2017, President Trump has nominated 262 individuals to Article III positions.
Since June 2, 2020, the United States Senate has confirmed three of President Trump’s nominees to Article III seats.
1. Drew Tipton, confirmed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
2. Justin Walker, confirmed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
3. Cory Wilson, confirmed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
As of July 2, 2020, the Senate has confirmed 200 of President Trump’s judicial nominees—143 district court judges, 53 appeals court judges, two Court of International Trade judges, and two Supreme Court justices—since January 2017.