Ballotpedia releases federal judicial vacancy count for December 2021

In this month’s federal judicial vacancy count, Ballotpedia tracked nominations, confirmations, and vacancies in Article III courts during the month of December through Jan. 1, 2022. Ballotpedia publishes the federal judicial vacancy count at the start of each month.


Nine judges left active status, creating Article III life-term judicial vacancies, since the previous vacancy count. As Article III judicial positions, 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.

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 Joe Biden (D) to the date indicated on the chart.

The following maps show the number of vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals at Biden’s inauguration and as of Jan. 1, 2022.

New nominations

Biden has announced 11 new nominations since the November 2021 report.

Since taking office in January 2021, Biden has nominated 73 individuals to Article III positions.

New confirmations

There have been 12 new confirmations since the November 2021 report.

As of Jan. 1, 2022, the Senate had confirmed 40 of Biden’s judicial nominees—29 district court judges and 11 appeals court judges—since his term started in January 2021. To review a complete list of Biden’s confirmed nominees, click here.

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