President Trump announces federal judicial nominee to Article I court

On September 2, 2020, President Donald Trump (R) announced his intent to nominate Stephen A. Kubiatowski to a seat on the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Following nomination by the president, a federal judicial nominee completes a questionnaire that is reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee then holds a hearing to question the nominee regarding their judicial philosophy and their previous rulings. The committee also sends the nominee’s home state senators a blue slip, permitting them to express their approval or disapproval of the nominee.

After the hearing, the committee votes to approve or return the nominee. If approved, the nominee is reported to the full Senate for a vote. If returned, the president may renominate the person. If the Senate confirms the nomination, the individual receives commission to serve as a federal judge for a life term. If the individual is not confirmed, they do not become a judge.

There are currently six vacancies on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, out of the court’s 16 judicial positions.

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has 10 active Article I judges:
Chief Judge Margaret M. Sweeney – nominated by President George W. Bush (R)
Ryan Holte – nominated by President Donald Trump (R)
Patricia Campbell-Smith – nominated by President Barack Obama (D)
Lydia Kay Griggsby – nominated by President Barack Obama (D)
Elaine Kaplan – nominated by President Barack Obama (D)
Thomas C. Wheeler – nominated by President George W. Bush (R)
Richard Hertling – nominated by President Donald Trump (R)
David A. Tapp – nominated by President Donald Trump (R)
Matthew Solomson – nominated by President Donald Trump (R)

Eleni Roumel – nominated by President Donald Trump (R)

The court’s 11 judges on senior status are:
Edward J. Damich – nominated by President Bill Clinton (D)
Nancy B. Firestone – nominated by President Bill Clinton (D)
Marian Blank Horn – nominated by President George W. Bush (R)
Charles F. Lettow – nominated by President George W. Bush (R)
Susan G. Braden – nominated by President George W. Bush (R)
Mary Ellen Coster Williams – nominated by President George W. Bush (R)
Victor J. Wolski – nominated by President George W. Bush (R)
Robert H. Hodges Jr. – nominated by President George W. Bush (R)
Loren A. Smith – nominated by President Ronald Reagan (R)
John Paul Wiese – nominated by President Ronald Reagan (R)

Eric G. Bruggink  – nominated by President Ronald Reagan (R)

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims is an Article I tribunal, a federal court organized under Article One of the United States Constitution. The court hears claims against the U.S. government. Judgments of the court may be appealed to the Federal Circuit.

The court has jurisdiction over claims across the United States for over $10,000 and congruent jurisdiction with the United States District Courts on claims under $10,000.

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About the author

Kate Carsella

Kate Carsella is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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