OLP works with the Attorney General
in advising the President on nominations for Article III judgeships.
After the President has submitted a nomination to the Senate, OLP
works with the White House and the Senate Judiciary Committee in
securing the nominee's confirmation. The data on this site provide
an overview of the nomination and confirmation activity relating
to each Congress since the 107th.
As of the end of the 109th Congress:
Current vacancies in the 871-member Article III federal judiciary.
- Article III judiciary includes the Supreme Court of the United
States, Circuit Courts of Appeals, District Courts, and the
Court of International Trade.
Nominations returned upon the adjournment of the 109th Congress.
||0 (of 9)
||15 (of 179) — 8%
||38 (of 674) — 6%
||0 (of 9)
||53 (of 871) — 6%
Complete list of nominations during
the 109th Congress.
Complete list of confirmed
nominees from the 109th Congress.
Complete list of vacancies.
Vacancies designated "judicial
A blue slip is the traditional method of allowing the home state
senators of a judicial nominee to express their approval or disapproval.
Blue slips are generally given substantial weight by the Judiciary
Committee in its consideration of a judicial nominee. The process
dates back several decades and is grounded in the tradition of "senatorial
courtesy," which traces its roots back to the presidency of George
The formula by which a judicial vacancy is determined to be a "judicial
emergency" has been changed by the Administrative Office of the
U.S. Courts effective December 2001, to identify courts where vacancies
have resulted in only one active judge.
The formula now used is:
Any vacancy in a district court where weighted filings are in
excess of 600 per judgeship; OR any vacancy in existence
more than 18 months where weighted filings are between 430 to 600
per judgeship; OR any court with more than one authorized
judgeship and only one active judge;
Any vacancy in a court of appeals where adjusted filings per panel
are in excess of 700; OR any vacancy in existence more than
18 months where adjusted filings are between 500 to 700 per panel.