So much has happened since our last edition, and we’re excited to catch you up on all the news! So take a seat, dear reader, and let’s gavel in.
We #SCOTUS and you can, too!
SCOTUS has accepted four new cases to its merits docket since our May 8 issue. To date, the court has agreed to hear 13 cases for the 2023-2024 term.
Click the links below to learn more about these cases:
- Carnahan v. Maloney originated from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and concerns 5 U.S.C. 2954, which requires executive agencies to provide a response when seven or more House Oversight Committee members request information.
- Brown v. United States (Consolidated w/ Jackson v. United States) concerns the Armed Career Criminal Act’s definition of a serious drug offense. Brown v. United States originated from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Jackson v. United States originated from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
- Vidal v. Elster originated from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and concerns trademark registration under 15 U.S.C. § 1052(c) and the First Amendment.\
- Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP originated from the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina and concerns a challenge to the congressional redistricting plan that the South Carolina legislature enacted after the 2020 census.
SCOTUS has ruled on 23 cases since our May 8 edition. The court has issued rulings in 36 cases so far this term.
Click the links below to read more about the specific cases SCOTUS ruled on since May 8:
May 11, 2023
- Ciminelli v. United States
- Percoco v. United States
- Santos-Zacaria v. Garland
- National Pork Producers Council v. Ross
- Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, Inc.
May 18, 2023
- Twitter, Inc. v. Taamneh
- Gonzalez v. Google LLC
- Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi
- Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith
- Polselli v. Internal Revenue Service
- The Ohio Adjutant General’s Department v. Federal Labor Relations Authority
- Arizona v. Mayorkas
May 22, 2023
- Calcutt v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (Decided without argument)
May 25, 2023
June 1, 2023
- Slack Technologies v. Pirani
- U.S. ex rel. Schutte v. SuperValu Inc.
- Glacier Northwest, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters
June 8, 2023
- Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana v. Talevski
- Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc. v. VIP Products LLC
- Dubin v. United States
- Allen v. Milligan (Consolidated with ”Allen v. Caster”)
Upcoming SCOTUS dates
Here are the court’s upcoming dates of interest:
- June 15: SCOTUS will conference. A conference is a private meeting of the justices.
The Federal Vacancy Count
The Federal Vacancy Count tracks vacancies, nominations, and confirmations to all United States Article III federal courts in a one-month period. This month’s edition includes nominations, confirmations, and vacancies from May 2 to June 1.
- Vacancies: There have been five new judicial vacancies since the May 2023 federal vacancy count. 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, 75 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.
- Nominations: There were four new nominations since the May 2023 report.
- Confirmations: There were 10 new confirmations since the May 2023 report.
Vacancy count for June 1, 2023
A breakdown of the vacancies at each level can be found in the table below. For a more detailed look at the vacancies in the federal courts, click here.
*Though the United States territorial courts are named as district courts, they are not Article III courts. They are created in accordance with the power granted under Article IV of the U.S. Constitution. Click here for more information.
Five judges left active status since the previous vacancy count, creating Article III life-term judicial vacancies. The president nominates individuals to fill Article III judicial position vacancies. Nominations are subject to U.S. Senate confirmation.
- Judge Barbara Lynn assumed senior status on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
- Judge William Orrick III assumed senior status on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
- Judge Robert Conrad assumed senior status on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
- Judge David Guaderrama assumed senior status on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
- Judge Paul Watford resigned from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The following chart tracks the number of vacancies in the United States Courts of Appeals from President Joe Biden’s (D) inauguration to the date indicated on the chart.
U.S. District Court vacancies
The following map shows the number of vacancies in the United States District Courts as of June 1.
- Susan DeClercq to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
- Loren AliKhan to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
- Julia Munley to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
- Vernon D. Oliver to the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.
Since the June 2023 Federal Vacancy Count, President Biden announced four additional nominations:
- Jerry Edwards, Jr to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
- Philip S. Hadji to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
- Brandon S. Long to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
- Kenechukwu Onyemaechi Okocha to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
For more information on the president’s judicial nominees, click here.
As of June 1, the Senate has confirmed 130 of President Biden’s judicial nominees—95 district court judges, 34 appeals court judges, and one Supreme Court justice—since January 2021.
- Darrel Papillion to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
- Nancy Gbana Abudu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
- Jeremy Daniel to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
- Bradley Garcia to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
- LaShonda A. Hunt to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
- Amanda Brailsford to the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.
- Orelia Merchant to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
- Wesley Hsu to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
- Michael Farbiarz to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
- Robert Kirsch to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Comparison of Article III judicial appointments over time by president (1981-Present)
- Presidents have made an average of 111 judicial appointments through June 1 of their third year in office.
- President Bill Clinton (D) made the most appointments through June 1 of his third year with 145. President George H.W. Bush (R) made the fewest with 83.
- President Ronald Reagan (R) made the most appointments through one year in office with 41. President Barack Obama (D) made the fewest with 13.
- President Donald Trump (R) made the most appointments through four years with 234. President Ronald Reagan (R) made the fewest through four years with 166.
Need a daily fix of judicial nomination, confirmation, and vacancy information? Click here for continuing updates on the status of all federal judicial nominees.
Or, keep an eye on this list for updates on federal judicial nominations.
We’ll be back on July 10 with a new edition of Robe & Gavel. Until then, gaveling out!
Myj Saintyl compiled and edited this newsletter, with contributions from Sam Post.