TagArticle III federal judges

Trump has appointed second-most federal judges through December 31 of a president’s fourth year

Donald Trump has appointed and the U.S. Senate has confirmed 234 Article III federal judges through December 31, 2020, his fourth year in office. This is the second-most Article III judicial appointments through this point in all presidencies since Jimmy Carter (D). The Senate had confirmed 261 of Carter’s appointees at this point in his term.

The average number of federal judges appointed by a president through December 31 of their fourth year in office is 205.

The median number of Supreme Court justices appointed is two. President Donald Trump (R) has appointed three Supreme Court justices. Presidents Barack Obama (D), Bill Clinton (D), and George H.W. Bush (R) had each appointed two Supreme Court justices at this point in their first terms. Ronald Reagan (R) had appointed one, while Carter and George W. Bush (R) had not appointed any.

The median number of United States Court of Appeals appointees is 35. Carter appointed the most with 56, and Presidents Clinton and Obama appointed the fewest with 30 each. Trump’s 54 appointments make up 30.2% of the total 179 judgeships across the courts of appeal.

The median number of United States District Court appointees is 168. Carter appointed the most with 202, and President Reagan appointed the fewest with 129. Trump has appointed 174 district court judges so far. Those appointments make up 25.7% of the 678 judgeships across the district courts.

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 December

In this month’s federal judicial vacancy count, Ballotpedia tracked nominations, confirmations, and vacancies to all United States Article III federal courts from December 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. Ballotpedia publishes the federal judicial vacancy count at the start of each month.

HIGHLIGHTS

Vacancies: There have been no new judicial vacancies since the November 2020 report. There are 46 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, 49 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.

Nominations: There were no new nominations since the November 2020 report.

Confirmations: There have been seven new confirmations since the November 2020 report.

New vacancies

There were 46 vacancies out of 870 active Article III judicial positions, a total vacancy percentage of 5.3.

  • The nine-member U.S. Supreme Court does not have any vacancies.
  • Two (1.1%) of the 179 U.S. Appeals Court positions are vacant.
  • 43 (6.4%) of the 673 U.S. District Court positions are vacant.*
  • One (11.1%) of the nine U.S. Court of International Trade positions is vacant.

*District court count does not include territorial courts.

No judges left active status, which would create 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 from the inauguration of President Donald Trump (R) to the date indicated on the chart.

The following maps show the number of vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals at Trump’s inauguration and as of December 31, 2020.

New nominations

Trump has not announced any new nominations since the November 2020 report.

New confirmations

Since December 1, 2020, the United States Senate has confirmed seven of Trump’s nominees to Article III seats. 

  • Taylor McNeel, confirmed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.
  • J. Philip Calabrese, confirmed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
  • Thomas Kirsch, confirmed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
  • Katherine Crytzer, confirmed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
  • Joseph Dawson, confirmed to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.
  • Charles Atchley, confirmed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
  • Fernando Aenlle-Rocha, confirmed to the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

As of January 4, 2021, the Senate has confirmed 234 of President Trump’s Article III judicial nominees—174 district court judges, 54 appeals court judges, three Court of International Trade judges, and three Supreme Court justices—since January 2017.

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Trump has appointed second-most federal judges through December 1 of a president’s fourth year

Donald Trump has appointed and the Senate has confirmed 227 Article III federal judges through December 1, 2020, his fourth year in office. This is the second-most Article III judicial appointments through this point in all presidencies since Jimmy Carter (D). The Senate had confirmed 260 of Carter’s appointees at this point in his term.

The average number of federal judges appointed by a president through December 1 of their fourth year in office is 201.

The median number of Supreme Court justices appointed is two. President Trump appointed the most with three. Presidents Barack Obama (D), Bill Clinton (D), and George H.W. Bush (R) had each appointed two Supreme Court justices at this point in their first terms. Ronald Reagan (R) had appointed one, while Carter and George W. Bush (R) had not appointed any.

The median number of United States Court of Appeals appointees is 35. Carter appointed the most with 55, while Clinton and Obama appointed the fewest with 30. Trump has appointed 53. Trump’s 53 appointments make up 30% of the total 179 judgeships across the courts of appeal.

The median number of United States District Court appointees is 168. Carter appointed the most with 202, and Obama appointed the fewest with 128. Trump has appointed 168 district court judges. Those appointments make up 25% of the 677 judgeships across the district courts.

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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U.S. Senate confirms five nominees to federal judgeships

The U.S. Senate confirmed five nominees to federal judgeships—four to federal district court seats and one to the U.S. Court of International Trade. The 94 U.S. District Courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal courts. The U.S. Court of International Trade is an Article III federal court that only hears cases involving particular international trade and customs law questions.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed 227 of President Trump’s Article III judicial nominees—three Supreme Court justices, 53 appellate court judges, 168 district court judges, and three U.S. Court of International Trade judges—since January 2017.

The nominees are:

• Benjamin Beaton, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky by a 52-44 vote. After he receives his federal judicial commission and takes his judicial oath, the five-member court will have two Democrat-appointed judges, three Republican-appointed judges, and no vacancies. Beaton will join two other judges appointed by President Trump.

• Toby Crouse, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas by a 50-43 vote. After he receives his federal judicial commission and takes his judicial oath, the six-member court will have one Democrat-appointed judge, five Republican-appointed judges, and no vacancies. Crouse will join two other judges appointed by President Trump.

• Kristi Haskins Johnson, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi by a 53-43 vote. After she receives her federal judicial commission and takes her judicial oath, the six-member court will have one Democrat-appointed judge, four Republican-appointed judges, and one vacancy. Johnson will be the first judge appointed by President Trump to join the court.

• Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida by a 49-41 vote. After she receives her federal judicial commission and takes her judicial oath, the 15-member court will have six Democrat-appointed judges, nine Republican-appointed judges, and no vacancies. Mizelle will join four other judges appointed by President Trump.

• Stephen Vaden, confirmed to the U.S. Court of International Trade by a 49-43 vote. After he receives his federal judicial commission and takes his judicial oath, the nine-member court will have four Democrat-appointed judges, four Republican-appointed judges, and one vacancy. Vaden will join two other judges appointed by President Trump.

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Trump has appointed second-most federal judges through November 1 of a president’s fourth year

Donald Trump has appointed and the Senate has confirmed 220 Article III federal judges through November 1, 2020, his fourth year in office. This is the second-most Article III judicial appointments through this point in all presidencies since Jimmy Carter (D). The Senate had confirmed 260 of Carter’s appointees at this point in his term.

The average number of federal judges appointed by a president through November 1 of their fourth year in office is 200.

The median number of Supreme Court justices appointed is two. President Trump appointed the most with three. Presidents Barack Obama (D), Bill Clinton (D), and George H.W. Bush (R) had each appointed two Supreme Court justices at this point in their first terms. Ronald Reagan (R) had appointed one, while Carter and George W. Bush (R) had not appointed any.

The median number of United States Court of Appeals appointees is 35. Carter appointed the most with 55, while Clinton and Obama both appointed the least with 30 each. Trump’s 53 appointments make up 30% of the total 179 judgeships across the courts of appeal.

The median number of United States District Court appointees is 162. Carter appointed the most with 202, and Obama appointed the fewest with 128. Trump has appointed 162 district court judges so far. Those appointments make up 24% of the 677 judgeships across the district courts.

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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U.S. Senate confirms Newman to federal district court judgeship

The U.S. Senate confirmed Michael Newman to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio by a 67-30 vote on October 22, 2020. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio is one of 94 U.S. District Courts. They are the general trial courts of the United States federal courts.

After Newman receives his federal judicial commission and takes his judicial oath, the eight-member court will have five Republican-appointed judges and three Democrat-appointed judges. Newman will join three other judges appointed by President Trump.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed 219 of President Trump’s Article III judicial nominees—two Supreme Court justices, 53 appellate court judges, 162 district court judges, and two U.S. Court of International Trade judges—since January 2017.

Newman was a federal magistrate judge for the Southern District of Ohio from 2011 to 2020. Before that, he worked in private practice and as a law clerk to the Southern District of Ohio’s Magistrate Judge Jack Sherman and to U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit Judge Nathaniel Jones. Newman earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from New York University in 1982, and his J.D., cum laude, from American University’s Washington College of Law in 1989.

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President Trump announces judicial nominee

On October 1, President Donald Trump (R) announced the nomination of Joseph Dawson to the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, which is an Article III federal judicial position. Article III judges are appointed by the president, confirmed by the Senate, and serve for life.

Since assuming office in January 2017, Trump has nominated 271 individuals to federal judgeships, 218 of whom have been confirmed. The president nominated 69 judicial nominees in 2017, 92 in 2018, and 77 in 2019.

Since January 2017, the Senate has confirmed 218 of Trump’s judicial nominees—161 district court judges, 53 appeals court judges, two Court of International Trade judges, and two Supreme Court justices.

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U.S. Senate confirms six U.S. District Court nominees

The U.S. Senate confirmed six nominees to U.S. District Court judgeships. The 94 U.S. District Courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal courts. The Senate has confirmed 214 of President Trump’s Article III judicial nominees—two Supreme Court justices, 53 appellate court judges, 157 district court judges, and two U.S. Court of International Trade judges—since January 2017.

The confirmed nominees are:

Stephen McGlynn and David Dugan, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. When they assume office (after receiving their judicial commission and taking their judicial oath), the court will have:
• No vacancies.
• Two Democrat-appointed judges and two Republican-appointed judges.

Stanley Blumenfeld, Mark Scarsi, and John Holcomb, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. When they assume office, the court will have:
• Seven vacancies.
• Nine Democrat-appointed judges and 12 Republican-appointed judges.

Todd Robinson, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. After Robinson assumes office, the court will have:
• Four vacancies.
• Four Democrat-appointed judges and five Republican-appointed judges.

Blumenfeld, Scarsi, Holcomb, and Robinson are the first four District Court nominees to be confirmed to a California court since Trump took office.

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Ballotpedia releases federal judicial vacancy count for August 2020

In this month’s federal judicial vacancy count, Ballotpedia tracked nominations, confirmations, and vacancies to all United States Article III federal courts from August 3, 2020, to September 1, 2020. Ballotpedia publishes the federal judicial vacancy count at the start of each month.

HIGHLIGHTS

Vacancies: There have been no new judicial vacancies since the July 2020 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 July 2020 report.

Confirmations: There has been one new confirmation since the July 2020 report.

 

New vacancies

There were 72 vacancies out of 870 active Article III judicial positions, a total vacancy percentage of 8.3.

• The nine-member U.S. Supreme Court does not have any vacancies.
• None of the 179 U.S. Appeals Court positions are vacant.
• 70 (10.3%) of the 677 U.S. District Court positions are vacant.

• Two (22.2%) 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 U.S. Constitution, are appointed for life terms.

No judges left active status, 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 from the inauguration of President Donald Trump (R) to the date indicated on the chart.

The following maps show the number of vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals at Trump’s inauguration and as of September 1, 2020.

New nominations

President Donald Trump (R) has announced five new nominations since the July 2020 report.
• Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
• Benjamin Beaton, to the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.
• Hector Gonzalez, to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
• Ryan McAllister, to the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.

• David Woll, to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

New confirmations

Since August 3, 2020, the United States Senate has confirmed one of President Trump’s nominees to an Article III seat.

• John Cronan, confirmed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

As of September 1, 2020, the Senate has 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—since January 2017.

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Senate confirms Cronan to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

The U.S. Senate confirmed John Cronan to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by a vote of 55-42. The Southern District of New York is one of 94 U.S. District Courts. They are the general trial courts of the United States federal courts.

After Cronan receives his judicial commission and takes his judicial oath, the court will have two vacancies, seven Republican-appointed judges, and 19 Democrat-appointed judges. Cronan will join three other judges appointed by President Trump.

Cronan earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1998 and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2001. During his legal studies, he was the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law and Policy Review.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed 203 of President Trump’s Article III judicial nominees—two Supreme Court justices, 53 appellate court judges, 146 district court judges, and two U.S. Court of International Trade judges—since January 2017.

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