Robe & Gavel: Federal Judicial Vacancy Count released for June 1, 2023

Welcome to the June 12 edition of Robe & Gavel, Ballotpedia’s newsletter about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and other judicial happenings around the U.S.

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.

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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:


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

May 18, 2023

May 22, 2023

  • Calcutt v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (Decided without argument)

May 25, 2023

June 1, 2023

June 8, 2023

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. 


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.

New vacancies

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.

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.

New nominations

President Biden announced four new nominations since the May 2023 report:

Since the June 2023 Federal Vacancy Count, President Biden announced four additional nominations:

For more information on the president’s judicial nominees, click here.

New confirmations

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.

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.

Looking ahead

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.