Judicial Nominations

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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.

114th Congress

90 = Current vacancies in the 874 - 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.

77 = Nominations submitted in the 114th Congress

Judicial Vacancies Nominee Hearings Confirmations
Judicial Vacancies Hearings for Nominees Confirmations
90 Vacant (10%)
784 Filled (90%)
55 Had Hearing (71%)
22 No Hearing (29%)
22 Confirmed (29%)
55 Not Confirmed (71%)
Circuit Vacancies Circuit Hearings Circuit Confirmations
Circuit Vacancies Circuit Hearings Circuit Confirmations
12 Vacant (7%)
167 Filled (93%)
5 Had Hearing (56%)
4 No Hearing (44%)
2 Confirmed (22%)
7 Not Confirmed (78%)
District Vacancies District Hearings District Confirmations
District Vacancies
District Hearings District Confirmations
75 Vacant (11%)
602 Filled (89)
46 Had Hearing (73%)
17 No Hearing (27%)
18 Confirmed (29%)
45 Not Confirmed (71%)
Court of International Trade Vacancies Hearings for Court of International Trade Nominees Court of International Trade Confirmations
CIT Vacancies
CIT Hearings CIT Confirmations
2 Vacant (22%)
7 Filled (78%)
4 Had Hearing (100%)
0 No Hearing (0%)
2 Confirmed (50%)
2 Not Confirmed (50%)
  Current Vacancies Nominees Since 1/2015 Confirmations
Supreme Court 1 (of 9) 1 0
Circuit Court of Appeals 12 (of 179) — 7% 9 2
District Court* 75 (of 677) — 11% 63 18
Court of Int’l Trade 2 (of 9)  — 22% 4 2
TOTAL 90 (of 874) — 10% 76 22

* Judges in territorial courts (Virgin Islands, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands) are Article I judges with term appointments.

This site lists nominations for Article III courts only and does not include nominations for courts or other tribunals established pursuant to other articles of the U.S. Constitution.

Nominations List

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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.

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.

Archive (Judicial nominations from prior Congresses)

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Updated September 14, 2016