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Judicial Nominations

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.

110th Congress

     54 = Current vacancies in the 870-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.

     104 = Nominations submitted in the 110th Congress.

Judicial Vacancies: 54 vacant or 6 percent, and 816 filled or 94 percent Hearings for Nominees: 36 hearings held or 64 percent, and 35 with no hearings or 36 percent Confirmations: 58 confirmed or 59 percent, and 40 unconfirmed or 41 percent
Circuit Vacancies: 13 vacant or 7 percent, and 165 filled or 93 percent Hearings for Circuit Nominees: 12 had hearings or 55 percent, and 10 with no hearings or 45 percent Circuit Confirmations: 10 confirmed or 45 percent, and 10 unconfirmed or 55 percent

      Current Vacancies Nominations Since 1/2007 Confirmations
Sup. Ct. 0 (of 9)    
Circuit 13 (of 178) —7% 24 10
District 41 (of 674) —6% 80 58
CIT 0 (of 9)    
TOTAL 54 (of 870) —6% 104 68

  • Complete list of nominations during the 110th Congress.
  • Complete list of confirmed nominees during the 110th Congress.
  • Complete list of vacancies.
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    Blue Slips

  • 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 Washington.

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  • Judicial Emergency:

    A judicial emergency is defined as the following:

    Circuit court

    • 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.

    District court

    • any vacancy where weighted filings are in excess of 600 per judgeship;
    • any vacancy in existence more than 18 months where weighted filings are between 430 and 600 per judgeship; or
    • any court with more than one authorized judgeship and only one active judge.

    The Federal Judiciary has posted a listing of Judicial Emergencies.

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