Robe & Gavel: Federal Judicial Vacancy Count released for March 2024

Welcome to the March 11 edition of Robe & Gavel, Ballotpedia’s newsletter about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and other judicial happenings around the U.S.

We’re back with our third federal vacancy count for the year, and there is much to discuss. So grab a seat, dear reader, and let’s gavel on in.

Follow Ballotpedia on X or subscribe to the Daily Brew for the latest news and analysis.

We #SCOTUS and you can, too!


SCOTUS has accepted one new case to its merits docket since our Feb. 26 issue. To date, the court has agreed to hear 62 cases for the 2023-2024 term. SCOTUS dismissed one case after it was accepted. Two cases have been accepted for the 2024-2025 term. 

Click the links below to learn more about these cases:


The Supreme Court will not hear any arguments this week. Click here to read more about SCOTUS’ current term.


SCOTUS has ruled on one case since our Feb. 26 edition. The court has issued rulings in six cases so far this term. Fifty-five cases are still under deliberation.

Click the links below to read more about the specific cases SCOTUS ruled on since Feb. 26:

March 4

Trump v. Anderson was argued before the court on Feb. 8.

The case: concerns the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision barring former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot.

The outcome: In a unanimous per curiam opinion, the court reversed the judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court, holding that since the Constitution gives Congress (and not the states) the authority to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment against federal officeholders and candidates, the Colorado Supreme Court should not have ordered Trump to be excluded from the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot. Justice Amy Coney Barrett concurred in part and concurred in the judgment. A per curiam decision is a collective opinion with no named author.

Upcoming SCOTUS dates

Here are the court’s upcoming dates of interest:

  • March 16: SCOTUS will conference. A conference is a private meeting of the justices.

Federal court action

Committee action

The Senate Judiciary Committee has reported five new nominees out of committee since our Feb. 26 edition.

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 Feb. 2, through March 1. 


  • Vacancies: There have been two new judicial vacancies since the February 2024 report. There are 51 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, 52 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.  
  • Nominations: There were nine new nominations since the February 2024 report. 
  • Confirmations: There were six new confirmations since the February 2024 report.

Vacancy count for March 1, 2024

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

Two 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 March 1.

New nominations

President Biden announced nine new nominations since the Feb. 1 report:

The president has announced 218 Article III judicial nominations since taking office on Jan. 20, 2021. For more information on the president’s judicial nominees, click here.

New confirmations

As of March 6, the Senate has confirmed 181 of President Biden’s Article III judicial nominees—138 district court judges, 40 appeals court judges, two international trade judges, and one Supreme Court justice—since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021.

Comparison of Article III judicial appointments over time by president (1981-Present)

  • Presidents have made an average of 161 judicial appointments through March 1 of their fourth year in office. 
  • President Donald Trump (R) made the most appointments through March 1 of his fourth year with 193. President Ronald Reagan (R) made the fewest with 124.
  • President Donald Trump (R) made the most appointments in four years with 234. President Ronald Reagan (R) made the fewest through four years with 166.
  • President Ronald Reagan (R) made the most appointments through one year in office with 41. President Barack Obama (D) made the fewest with 13.

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 March 18 with a new edition of Robe & Gavel. Until then, gaveling out! 


Myj Saintyl compiled and edited this newsletter, with contributions from Sam Post, and Ellie Mikus.