TagArticle III federal judges

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

Through Sept. 1, 2022, there were 890 authorized federal judicial posts and 81 vacancies. Seventy-nine of those were for Article III judgeships. This report is limited to Article III courts, where appointees are confirmed to lifetime judgeships. In the past month:

  • Two judges have been confirmed
  • Two judges have been nominated

By Sept. 1, 590 days in office, President Joe Biden (D) had nominated 132 judges to Article III judgeships. For historical comparison: 

  • President Donald Trump (R) had nominated 162 individuals, 86 of whom were ultimately confirmed to their positions.
  • President Barack Obama (D) had nominated 90 individuals, 65 of whom were confirmed.
  • President George W. Bush (R) had nominated 163 individuals, 100 of whom were confirmed.

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second tracker counts all Article III nominations, including unsuccessful nominations (for example, the nomination was withdrawn or the U.S. Senate did not vote on the nomination), renominations of individuals to the same court, and recess appointments.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 larger states of the federal judiciary during their respective administrations and is intended solely to track nominations by president by day.

Additional reading:



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



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

Through July 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.

  1. In the past month, three judges have been confirmed
  2. In the past month, nine judges have been nominated*.

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

By July 1, 528 days in office, President Joe Biden (D) had nominated 105 judges to Article III judgeships. For historical comparison**: 

  1. President Donald Trump (R) had nominated 153 individuals, 85 of whom were ultimately confirmed to their positions.
  2. President Barack Obama (D) had nominated 80 individuals, 64 of whom were confirmed.
  3. President George W. Bush (R) had nominated 147 individuals, 89 of whom were confirmed.

**Note: These 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:

Federal judges nominated by Joe Biden

Judicial vacancies in federal courts

Current federal judicial vacancies



Biden appointed second-most federal judges through July 1 of a president’s second year

President Joe Biden (D) has appointed and the U.S. Senate has confirmed 69 Article III federal judges through July 1 of Biden’s second year in office. This is the second-most Article III judicial appointments through this point in all presidencies since 1981. President Bill Clinton (D) appointed the most judges by this point in his presidency with 72. The Senate had confirmed 42 of President Donald Trump’s (R) appointees at this point in his term.

The average number of federal judges appointed by a president through July 1 of their second year in office is 56.

  • The median number of Supreme Court appointees is one. Five presidents (Reagan, Clinton, Obama, Trump, and Biden) made one appointment. Two presidents (H.W. Bush and W. Bush) had not appointed any.
  • The median number of United States Court of Appeals appointees is 14. Trump had the most appointees with 21, followed by Biden with 16. Obama appointed the fewest with nine.
  • The median number of United States District Court appointees is 48. Clinton had the most appointees with 60, followed by Biden with 52. Trump appointed the fewest with 20.

Article III federal judges are appointed for life terms by the president of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate per Article III of the United States Constitution. Article III judges include judges on the: Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. courts of appeal, U.S. district courts, and the Court of International Trade.

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Ballotpedia releases federal judicial vacancy count for June 2022

In this month’s federal judicial vacancy count, Ballotpedia tracked nominations, confirmations, and vacancies in Article III courts during the month of June through July 1, 2022. Ballotpedia publishes the federal judicial vacancy count at the start of each month.

Highlights

  • Vacancies: There have been three new judicial vacancies since the May 2022 report. There are 75 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, 77 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.
  • Nominations: There were nine new nominations since the May 2022 report.
  • Confirmations: There were three confirmations since the May 2022 report.

Three judges left their respective courts, creating Article III life-term judicial vacancies, since the previous vacancy count. As Article III judicial positions, 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.

U.S. Court of Appeals vacancies

The following chart tracks the number of vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals at the inauguration of President Joe Biden (D) and at 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 July 1, 2022.

U.S. District Court vacancies

The following map shows the number of vacancies in the United States District Courts as of July 1, 2022.

New nominations

Biden announced nine new nominations since the previous report. Since taking office in January 2021, Biden has nominated 105 individuals to Article III positions.

New confirmations

The U.S. Senate confirmed three nominees since the previous report.

As of July 1, 2022, the Senate had confirmed 69 of Biden’s judicial nominees—52 district court judges, 16 appeals court judges, and one Supreme Court justice. To review a complete list of Biden’s confirmed nominees, click here.

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

Through June 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, six judges have been confirmed
  • In the past month, eight judges have been nominated*

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

By June 1, after 498 days in office, President Joe Biden (D) had nominated 96 judges to Article III judgeships. For historical comparison: 

  • President Donald Trump (R) had nominated 141 individuals, 84 of which were ultimately confirmed to their positions.
  • President Barack Obama (D) had nominated 76 individuals, 64 of which were confirmed.
  • President George W. Bush (R) had nominated 143 individuals, 86 of which were confirmed.

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:



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

Through May 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, two judges have been confirmed
  • In the past month, 10 judges have been nominated*

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

By May 1, 467 days in office, President Joe Biden (D) had nominated 93 judges to Article III judgeships. For historical comparison**: 

  • President Donald Trump (R) had nominated 123 individuals, 80 of which were ultimately confirmed to their positions.
  • President Barack Obama (D) had nominated 69 individuals, 62 of which were confirmed.
  • President George W. Bush (R) had nominated 140 individuals, 85 of which were confirmed.

**Note: These 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:



Biden has appointed most federal judges through May 1 of a president’s second year

President Joe Biden (D) has appointed and the U.S. Senate has confirmed 60 Article III federal judges through May 1 of Biden’s second year in office. This is the most Article III judicial appointments through this point in all presidencies since 1981. The Senate had confirmed 33 of President Donald Trump’s (R) appointees at this point in his term.

The average number of federal judges appointed by a president through May 1 of their second year in office is 44.

  • The median number of Supreme Court appointees is one. Five presidents (Reagan, Clinton, Obama, Trump, and Biden) made one appointment. Two presidents (H.W. Bush and W. Bush) had not appointed any.
  • The median number of United States Court of Appeals appointees is 12. Biden and Trump tied for the most appointees with 15, followed by Reagan with 13. Clinton appointed the fewest with five.
  • The median number of United States District Court appointees is 41. Biden and Reagan tied for the most appointees with 44, followed by W. Bush with 43. Obama appointed the fewest with 11.

Article III federal judges are appointed for life terms by the president of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate per Article III of the United States Constitution. Article III judges include judges on the Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. courts of appeal, U.S. district courts, and the Court of International Trade.

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Biden nominates five to Article III courts on April 27

President Joe Biden (D) announced his intent to nominate five individuals to Article III judgeships with lifetime terms on April 27:

To date, Biden has nominated 93 individuals to federal judgeships. The U.S. Senate has confirmed 59 of the nominees.

As of his inauguration in January 2021, Biden inherited 46 Article III vacancies: two vacancies in the U.S. courts of appeal, 43 vacancies in the U.S. district courts, and one vacancy on the U.S. Court of International Trade. Biden announced his first federal judicial nominees on March 30, 2021.

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Biden nominates five to Article III courts

President Joe Biden (D) announced his intent to nominate five individuals to Article III judgeships with lifetime terms on April 13:

To date, Biden has nominated 88 individuals to federal judgeships. The U.S. Senate has confirmed 59 of the nominees.

As of his inauguration in January 2021, Biden inherited 46 Article III vacancies: two vacancies in the U.S. courts of appeal, 43 vacancies in the U.S. district courts, and one vacancy on the U.S. Court of International Trade. Biden announced his first federal judicial nominees on March 30.

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