According to the latest vacancy data from the U.S. Courts, there were 27 total announced upcoming vacancies for Article III judgeships as of January 5, 2022. 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, Rachel Bloomekatz was nominated to replace Judge R. Guy Cole who retires on Jan. 9, 2023. There are currently 6 nominees pending for upcoming vacancies.
Eight 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 Jan. 9, 2023, when United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Judge R. Guy Cole assumes senior status.
In addition to these 27 upcoming vacancies, there are 84 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 86 vacancies out of 890 active federal judicial positions.
President Biden has nominated 148 individuals to federal judgeships on Article III courts. Ninety-seven of those nominees have been confirmed. Of the 46 nominees going through the confirmation process, 29 are awaiting a vote in the U.S. Senate, 10 are awaiting a committee vote, and seven are awaiting a committee hearing.