In this month’s federal judicial vacancy count, Ballotpedia tracked nominations, confirmations, and vacancies from September 2 to October 1. Ballotpedia publishes the federal judicial vacancy count at the start of each month.
- Vacancies: There have been two new judicial vacancies since the September 2023 report. There are 69 vacancies out of 870 active Article III judicial positions in courts covered in this report. Including the United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States territorial courts, 70 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.
- Nominations: There have been four new nominations since the September 2023 report.
- Confirmations: There have been threenew confirmations since the September 2023 report.
There were 69 vacancies out of 870 active Article III judicial positions, a total vacancy percentage of 8%.
- The nine-member U.S. Supreme Court does not have any vacancies.
- Seven (4%) of the 179 U.S. Appeals Court positions are vacant.
- 60 (9%) of the 677 U.S. District Court positions are vacant.
- Two (22%) of the nine U.S. Court of International Trade positions are vacant.
A vacancy occurs when a judge resigns, retires, takes senior status, or passes away. Article III judges, who serve on courts authorized by Article III of the Constitution, are appointed for life terms.
Two judges left active status, creating Article III life-term judicial vacancies. As Article III judicial positions, these 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.
- Gonzalo Curiel assumed senior status on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
- John Michael Vazquez resigned from the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
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 October 1, 2023.
Biden has announced four new nominations since the September 2023 report:
- Mustafa Kasubhai, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
- Shanlyn A. S. Park, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii
- Jamel Semper, to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- Kirk Sherriff, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
Since taking office in January 2021, Biden has nominated 183 individuals to Article III positions.
From September 1 to October 1, the U.S. Senate confirmed three of Biden’s nominees to Article III seats. Four additional nominees were confirmed between October 1 and October 18. As of October 18, the Senate had confirmed a total of 147 of Biden’s judicial nominees: 110 district court judges, 36 appeals court judges, and one Supreme Court justice.