CategoryFederal

Monthly tracker: Article III federal judicial nominations by president by days in office since 2001

Through August 1, 2022, there were 890 authorized federal judicial posts and 77 vacancies. Seventy-five of those were for Article III judgeships. This report is limited to Article III courts, where appointees are confirmed to lifetime terms.

  • In the past month, five judges have been confirmed
  • In the past month, 25 judges have been nominated*.

*Note: This figure includes nomination announcements in addition to nominations officially received in the Senate.

By August 1, 559 days in office, President Joe Biden (D) had nominated 130 judges to Article III judgeships. For historical comparison**: 

  • President Donald Trump (R) had nominated 158 individuals, 86 of which were ultimately confirmed to their positions.
  • President Barack Obama (D) had nominated 90 individuals, 65 of which were confirmed.
  • President George W. Bush (R) had nominated 163 individuals, 100 of which were confirmed.

**Note: The total nominations figures include unsuccessful nominations.

The following data visualizations track the number of Article III judicial nominations by president by days in office during the Biden, Trump, Obama, and W. Bush administrations (2001-present). 

The first tracker is limited to successful nominations, where the nominee was ultimately confirmed to their respective court:

The second tracker counts all Article III nominations, including unsuccessful nominations (for example, the nomination was withdrawn or the U.S. Senate did not vote on the nomination), renominations of individuals to the same court, and recess appointments. A recess appointment is when the president appoints a federal official while the Senate is in recess.

The data contained in these charts is compiled by Ballotpedia staff from publicly available information provided by the Federal Judicial Center. The comparison by days shown between the presidents is not reflective of the overall status of the federal judiciary during their respective administrations and is intended solely to track nominations by president by day.

Additional reading:

Judicial vacancies in federal courts

Federal judges nominated by Joe Biden

The Federal Judicial Vacancy Count 8/1/2022



Federal Register weekly update: 508 documents added

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

From August 1 through August 5, the Federal Register grew by 1,196 pages for a year-to-date total of 48,078 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 508 documents:

  • 427 notices
  • One presidential document
  • 32 proposed rules
  • 48 final rules

Four proposed rules, including amendments to regulations for the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) from the Rural Housing Service, and seven final rules, including an amendment to regulations regarding advanced directives and informed consent from the Veterans Affairs Department were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—defined by the potential to have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Biden administration has issued 130 significant proposed rules, 149 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of August 5.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Additional reading:

Historical additions to the Federal Register, 1936-2019



OIRA reviewed 47 significant rules in July

In July 2022, the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviewed 47 significant regulatory actions issued by federal agencies. OIRA approved six of these rules with no changes and approved the intent of 40 rules while recommending changes to their content. One rule was withdrawn from the review process by the issuing agency.

OIRA reviewed 43 significant regulatory actions in July 2021, 73 significant regulatory actions in July 2020, 51 significant regulatory actions in July 2019, 36 significant regulatory actions in July 2018, and 19 significant regulatory actions in July 2017.

OIRA has reviewed a total of 260 significant rules in 2022. The agency reviewed a total of 502 significant rules in 2021, 676 significant rules in 2020, 475 significant rules in 2019, 355 significant rules in 2018, and 237 significant rules in 2017.

As of August 1, 2022, OIRA’s website listed 105 regulatory actions under review.

​​OIRA is responsible for reviewing and coordinating what it deems to be all significant regulatory actions made by federal agencies, with the exception of independent federal agencies. Significant regulatory actions include agency rules that have had or may have a large impact on the economy, environment, public health, or state and local governments and communities. These regulatory actions may also conflict with other regulations or with the priorities of the president.

Every month, Ballotpedia compiles information about regulatory reviews conducted by OIRA. To view this project, visit: https://ballotpedia.org/Completed_OIRA_review_of_federal_administrative_agency_rules

Additional reading:

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs



U.S. weekly unemployment insurance claims fall to 256,000

New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits fell 5,000 for the week ending July 23 to a seasonally adjusted 256,000. The previous week’s figure was revised up from 251,000 to 261,000. The four-week moving average as of July 23 rose to 249,250 from a revised 243,000 as of the week ending July 16.

The number of continuing unemployment insurance claims, which refers to the number of unemployed workers who filed for benefits at least two weeks ago and are actively receiving unemployment benefits, fell 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.359 million for the week ending July 16. Reporting for continuing claims lags one week.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

For information about unemployment insurance programs across the country, click here.

Additional reading:

Unemployment insurance

Unemployment insurance fraud



Federal judge blocks Biden administration guidance on transgender students

A federal judge from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on July 15, 2022, struck down a Department of Education order that aims to protect transgender students and workers from discrimination. 

The Biden administration released the challenged guidance in response to recent legislation passed by states that aim to bar transgender students from participating on school sports teams and using bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity. The guidance states transgender students are protected under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex at federally funded schools. It also claims that transgender workers are protected under Title VII, which bars employers from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex, and/or national origin. The department in June issued a proposed rule seeking to codify parts of the guidance. 

Tennesse and 19 other Republican-led states brought a lawsuit against the federal government last August, asserting the Department of Education overreached its executive authority by issuing the order. The states claim in part that the department’s guidance infringes on state power in violation of the Tenth Amendment.

Judge Charles Atchley, a Trump appointee, ruled the department overreached its authority in order to penalize states for their recent legislation. In a preliminary injunction, Judge Atchley wrote, “[T]he harm alleged by plaintiff States is already occurring – their sovereign power to enforce their own legal code is hampered by the issuance of defendants’ guidance and they face substantial pressure to change their state laws as a result.”

In response to the ruling, Joni Madison, the Human Rights Campaign’s interim president, said, “Nothing in this decision can stop schools from treating students consistent with their gender identity. And nothing in this decision eliminates schools’ obligations under Title IX or students’ or parents’ abilities to bring lawsuits in federal court.” 

Additional reading:

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee

Charles Atchley



Final incumbent vs. incumbent primary upcoming in NY-12

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, Suraj Patel, and Ashmi Sheth are running in the Democratic primary for New York’s 12th Congressional District on Aug. 23. Maloney, Nadler, and Patel lead in endorsements, funding, and media attention.

This race is the last of six primaries featuring two U.S. House incumbents in 2022.

Maloney currently represents the 12th District as it was drawn before redistricting, and Nadler represents the old 10th District. Heading into the election, Maloney represents 61% of the redrawn 12th District’s population, and Nadler represents 39%, according to Daily Kos data.

Both representatives were first elected in 1992. Maloney chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Nadler chairs the Judiciary Committee. Maloney and Nadler are both members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and are campaigning as progressives.

Maloney’s campaign website says she has fostered “lasting bipartisan agreement in an increasingly polarized government, without giving up the ideals and causes she’s fought for throughout her career: promoting equality, protecting consumers, building infrastructure that serves New Yorkers and the region, extending and protecting healthcare coverage for all, protecting the environment, and working to understand and find solutions for everyday issues like affordable housing and small business support.”

Nadler’s campaign website says his record includes “standing up to Republican attempts at voter suppression, providing justice to survivors of sexual assault and harassment, [and] leading the impeachment of President Trump as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.” The website calls Nadler “a relentless defender of our country’s democracy and a fierce fighter for civil rights, racial justice, and a safer, more equal America.”

Patel, an attorney, was a campaign staffer for Barack Obama’s (D) presidential campaigns. Patel challenged Maloney in 2018 and 2020, receiving 40% of the vote to Maloney’s 60% in 2018 and 39% to Maloney’s 43% in 2020.

Patel calls himself “an Obama Democrat” and said, “Democrats need a new generation of leaders – practical and progressive leaders who can deliver new energy and fresh ideas on how to get things done.” Patel said, “New Yorkers are hungry for change. They want more affordable housing, better jobs, safer streets, modern infrastructure that actually gets built in their lifetimes, and representatives who are willing to do whatever it takes to protect and codify their human rights at the federal level.”

Major independent observers rate the general election as solid Democratic or safe Democratic.



Stevens defeated Levin in race incumbent-vs.-incumbent Democratic primary for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens defeated U.S. Rep. Andy Levin in the Democratic primary for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District on August 2, 2022. Stevens received 59.5% of the vote, and Levin received 40.5%.

This race was one of six incumbent-vs.-incumbent primaries occurring for the U.S. House in 2022 as a result of congressional redistricting.

Michigan lost one congressional district following the 2020 census, and when the lines were redrawn, its new 11th district included areas represented by multiple Democratic incumbents. According to data from Daily Kos, the newer 11th district contains about 45% of the older 11th district, which Stevens began representing in Congress in 2019. The newer 11th contains about 25% of the older 9th district, which Levin began representing in Congress in 2019.

When asked why he decided to run for election in the new 11th district instead of the new 9th, Levin said, “I’m running where I live, and I’m very happy about that decision, no regrets.” Levin’s campaign website said of the newer 11th district that Levin’s “roots in Oakland County, Michigan, go back well over 100 years” and that his father Sandy Levin (D) represented parts of the newer 11th in the older 9th district from 1983 to 2019.

Stevens called the incumbent-vs.-incumbent primary unfortunate, saying, “No one asked for this…In ten months, we are not going to be colleagues and that is not good. That is not good for Michigan. That’s not good for the Democratic Party. It’s not good for the country.” 

Levin served on the Education and Labor and Foreign Affairs committees in the 117th Congress. He was also a member of the Progressive caucus. Levin’s campaign said he had a progressive record in Congress, citing his co-sponsorship of bills to implement the Green New Deal and Medicare for All and his endorsements from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D). Levin also emphasized his background on the campaign trail, saying of his former jobs as union organizer for the national AFL-CIO and SEIU, “It’s my life. I’m the union organizer in Congress.” Heading into the final month of the race, Levin had raised more than $4.5 million.

Stevens served on the Education and Labor and Science, Space & Technology committees in the 117th Congress. She helped launch the Women in STEM Caucus in 2020, which said that its goal is to support and increase the number of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Prior to her election to Congress in 2018, Stevens served as the chief of staff for the U.S. Auto Rescue Task Force under former President Barack Obama (D). Heading into the final month of the race, Stevens had raised more than $2.5 million. In a July 2022 Target-Insyght poll, Stevens led Levin with 58% of voter support to his 31%.

Before the primary, the Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Inside Elections all rated Michigan’s 11th Congressional District as a solid/safe Democratic seat, meaning that the winner of the Democratic primary was very likely to win the general election as well.



Schweikert defeats Barnett and Norton in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District

Incumbent David Schweikert defeated Josh Barnett and Elijah Norton in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District on August 2, 2022. Schweikert and Norton led in fundraising and media attention throughout the race.

Schweikert was the incumbent in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District and ran in the 1st District due to redistricting. According to data from DailyKos, 75% of the redrawn 1st District, which covered parts of Phoenix and Scottsdale, came from areas Schweikert represented in the 6th District. U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D), the incumbent in the 1st District, ran in the 2nd District.

Schweikert served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and as Maricopa County’s treasurer from 2004 to 2006 before being elected to represent the 6th District in 2010.

Schweikert highlighted his record on tax policy and economic issues, including voting for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Schweikert’s website said, “As a member of the Ways and Means committee responsible for tax policy, David took the lead in ensuring the historic tax cuts in 2017 became law.” Schweikert also focused on his opposition to vaccine mandates and President Joe Biden’s (D) immigration policies. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Schweikert.

Norton, a Missouri native, is the founder and owner of Veritas Global Protection Services, a Phoenix-based car insurance company. Norton highlighted his business credentials, saying that, as an entrepreneur, he would bring a unique perspective to Congress. Norton also cited immigration as a top issue, saying he supported investing in technology to monitor the border and “establish[ing] a criminal database sharing system with Mexico.” In his responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Norton said he intended to serve no more than eight years in Congress and would donate his congressional salary to charity.

At the time of the primary, three election forecasters rated the general election Lean Republican. According to Inside Elections’ Nathan Gonzales, the redrawn 1st district was slightly more competitive than the old 6th district. “[The 1st district] got a little more Democratic by the presidential numbers. Trump won the old district by 4 points, but Biden would have won the newly drawn District by a single point,” Gonzales said.



Gibbs defeats incumbent Meijer in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District Republican primary

John Gibbs defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer in the Republican primary for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District on Aug. 2, 2022.

Meijer, first elected in 2020, was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump (R) following the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump endorsed Gibbs in this primary.

In a Candidate Connection survey submitted to Ballotpedia, Gibbs said, “No one else has fought in Washington like I have under President Trump,” and that he would “[reduce] government largess and overreach which threatens civil rights, civil liberties and our way of life.” 

The primary received notable satellite spending in its final weeks, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spending $449,854 on ads opposing Gibbs.

Meijer wrote that the ads were, instead, intended to boost support for Gibbs in the primary, calling the spending a “naked political [gambit] aimed at elevating the weaker Republican candidate ahead of the November … elections.”

Gibbs’ campaign did not respond to the DCCC ads but, following the primary, said money did not play a role in the race and that his victory “is an important lesson for the powers that be … to learn they’ve really got to respect what the people want.”

Gibbs will face Hillary Scholten (D) in the general election. Scholten ran against Meijer in 2020, receiving 47% of the vote. The 3rd District’s line changed during redistricting with Michigan Radio’s Nisa Khan and Emma Ruberg describing the district as becoming more Democratic-leaning as a result.

Meijer’s defeat—along with U.S. Rep. Andy Levin’s (D) in Michigan’s 11th District—brings the total number of U.S. House incumbents defeated in primaries to 11 for this cycle. Over the past decade, this is second only to 2012, the most recent post-redistricting cycle, when 13 incumbents lost in primaries.



Eli Crane wins Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District

Eli Crane defeated six other candidates in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District on Aug. 2. With 72% of the expected vote counted, Crane had received 34% of the vote, Walter Blackman had received 24%, and Mark DeLuzio had received 18%.

Heading into the primary, Crane and Blackman led in endorsements and individual campaign contributions.

Crane, a Navy veteran and small business owner, said he was “an America First candidate who is pro-life, pro-second amendment, and has the courage to take a stand against cancel culture and the radical left.” Crane said, “I’m running for Congress because America is in trouble. The week after 9/11, I volunteered for the SEAL Teams. I’m ready to head back into the fight.” Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Crane on July 22. The National Border Patrol Council, Green Beret PAC, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Arizona Sens. Wendy Rogers (R) and Sonny Borrelli (R) also endorsed Crane.

Blackman, who was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2018, said he was the only candidate in the primary with the “values, experience, and commitment to public service necessary to take back [the Republican] majority[.]” Blackman said he would “continue [his] fight for border security, election integrity and against the culture war.” Blackman served in the U.S. Army for 21 years as a tank commander and sexual assault prevention specialist. After retiring from the Army, he founded a consulting firm. The Arizona Police Association, U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah), Arizona House Majority Leader Ben Toma (R), Majority Whip Leo Biasiucci (R), and Speaker Pro-Tempore Travis Grantham (R) endorsed Blackman.

Steven Krystofiak, John W. Moore, Andy Yates, and Ron Watkins also ran in the primary.

According to data from Daily Kos, after redistricting, 64% of the new 2nd District’s population came from the old 1st District, represented by Tom O’Halleran (D). Thirty-six percent came from the old 4th District, represented by Paul Gosar (R). O’Halleran ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 2nd District.

Major independent observers rate the general election as Likely Republican or Lean Republican.