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 August 3 to September 1.
- Vacancies: There have been no new judicial vacancies since the previous report. There are 72 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, 78 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.
- Nominations: There have been five new nominations since the previous report.
- Confirmations: There has been one new confirmation since the previous report.
Vacancy count for September 1, 2020
A breakdown of the vacancies at each level can be found in the table below. For a more detailed look at the vacancies on 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.
No judges have left active status, creating Article III life-term judicial vacancies, since the previous vacancy count. The president must make a nomination to fill vacant Article III judicial positions. Nominations are subject to confirmation on the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacancies
Seventeen U.S. Court of Appeals judgeships were vacant when President Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017. Today, there are no U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacancies. According to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, no U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges have announced their intent to leave active judicial status during the remainder of Trump’s current term.
This is the first time there have been no federal appeals court vacancies since at least 1977. Between January 1, 1977, and January 1, 2019, an average of 9.6% of U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judgeships were vacant.
U.S. District Court vacancies
The following map displays U.S. District Court vacancies as of September 1.
President Trump has announced five new nominations since the previous report.
- Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
- Benjamin Beaton, to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.
- Hector Gonzalez, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
- Ryan McAllister, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.
- David Woll, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
The president has announced 267 Article III judicial nominations since taking office January 20, 2017. The president named 69 judicial nominees in 2017, 92 in 2018, and 77 in 2019. For more information on the president’s judicial nominees, click here.
Between August 3 and September 1, the Senate confirmed one of the president’s nominees to an Article III court.
Between January 2017 and September 1, 2020, the Senate confirmed 203 of President Trump’s judicial nominees—146 district court judges, 53 appeals court judges, two Court of International Trade judges, and two Supreme Court justices.
Trump is tied with President Bill Clinton (D) for the second-most Article III judicial appointments through September 1 of his fourth year of all presidencies since Jimmy Carter (D). The Senate confirmed 248 of Carter’s federal judicial appointees at this point in his presidency.
The average number of confirmed presidential judicial appointees through September 1 of a president’s fourth year in office is 191.
The median number of U.S. Court of Appeals appointees is 35. Carter appointed the most with 54, while Reagan appointed the least with 28. Trump’s 53 appointments make up 30% of the 179 federal appellate court judgeships.
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, if you prefer, we also maintain a list of individuals the president has nominated.