According to the latest vacancy data from the U.S. Courts, there were 37 total announced upcoming vacancies for Article III judgeships. Article III judgeships refer to federal judges who serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of International Trade, or one of the 13 U.S. courts of appeal or 94 U.S. district courts. These are lifetime appointments made by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
These positions are not yet vacant but will be at some point in the future with every judge having announced his or her intent to either leave the bench or assume senior status. In the meantime, these judges will continue to serve in their current positions.
The president and Senate do not need to wait for a position to become vacant before they can start the confirmation process for a successor. For example, Julie Rikelman was nominated to succeed Judge Sandra Lynch on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit after she assumes senior status upon Rikelman’s confirmation. There are currently 15 nominees pending for upcoming vacancies.
Twenty-four vacancy effective dates have not been determined because the judge has not announced the date he or she will leave the bench. The next upcoming scheduled vacancy will take place on Sept. 30, 2022, when U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Judge Robert Mariani assumes senior status.
In addition to these 37 upcoming vacancies, there are 80 current Article III vacancies in the federal judiciary out of the 870 total Article III judgeships. Including non-Article III judges from the United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States territorial courts, there are 82 vacancies out of 890 active federal judicial positions.
President Joe Biden (D) has nominated 141 individuals to federal judgeships on Article III courts. Seventy-six of those nominees have been confirmed. Of the 65 nominees going through the confirmation process, 22 are awaiting a vote in the U.S. Senate, five are awaiting a committee vote, and 38 are awaiting a committee hearing.