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2014 in Review: Judicial Nominations

Now that the Senate has adjourned for the year, it’s a good time to consider the important accomplishments, in terms of judicial nominations, that took place in 2014. 

Diversity on the federal bench increased significantly. As of June 2014, the total number of confirmed female federal judges nominated by President Obama has exceeded that of any other President.  And a total of 36 female federal judges was confirmed this year under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Reid.  These appointments are changing the face of the federal judiciary:  with the confirmation of eight female Court of Appeals judges this year, the percentage of active women judges on the federal appellate courts has almost reached 35 percent.  The percentage of active female district court judges held steady at around 32 percent, and the percentage of female Justices on the Supreme Court remains at a record 33 percent.  Read more »

End-of-the-Year Push on Nominations

Although the House of Representatives has already called it a year, the Senate is still working. On Saturday, Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture petitions on 12 district court nominees and numerous executive branch nominees, including the Surgeon General. The cloture votes on the district court judges will take place this week, at a day and time yet to be determined. Read more »

Judicial Nominations Update

Happy Friday! As we noted on Wednesday, five more district court nominees were slated for Senate votes this week. Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Pamela Pepper to the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Brenda K. Sannes to the Northern District of New York, Madeline Cox Arleo to the District of New Jersey, Wendy Beetlestone to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Victor Allen Bolden to the District of Connecticut. Their confirmations are notable, not only for the diversity that they bring to the federal bench, but because they bring the number of current judicial vacancies down to 56. Read more »

Jill Pryor Confirmed to Eleventh Circuit

Yesterday, on the first day back after its August recess, the Senate confirmed Jill Pryor to a Georgia-based seat on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Now-Judge Pryor had originally been nominated to fill this judicial emergency back in February 2012, making her the longest-pending judicial nominee in the Senate.

Judge Pryor's confirmation vote follows the confirmation of three other female Court of Appeals judges in July -- moving the percentage of active female federal court of appeals judges even closer to 35%. She becomes the 8th female circuit court judge, and the 12th court of appeals judge overall, to be confirmed this year. She is the 23rd female circuit court judge confirmed during President Obama’s Administration. Read more »

Judicial Nominations Update: August Edition

Last week, the Senate left for its August recess after having confirmed Pamela Harris to a Maryland-based seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and obtaining cloture on the nomination of Jill Pryor to a seat on the Eleventh Circuit (her confirmation vote presumably will take place shortly after the Senate returns in early September).  Read more »

Pam Harris Nomination Moves Forward in Senate

Yesterday, the Senate voted to move forward on the nomination of Pamela Harris to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. A confirmation vote is scheduled for 5:30 pm on Monday. Read more »

Senate Poised to Vote on More Judges

Yesterday evening, the Senate confirmed three district court nominees (Andre Birotte to the Central District of California, Robin Rosenberg to the Southern District of Florida, and John deGravelles to the Middle District of Louisiana). These votes follow on the heels of the confirmation of Julie Carnes to a Georgia-based seat on the Eleventh Circuit, 94-0, on Monday evening. In addition, last night, Senate Majority Leader Reid filed cloture on the nomination of Pamela Harris to a Maryland seat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate is scheduled to vote tomorrow on the question of whether or not it will move to a confirmation vote on Harris’ nomination. Read more »

Judicial Nominations Update

Today, the Senate unanimously confirmed four district court nominees, including one woman: Paul Byron and Carlos Mendoza to the Middle District of Florida; Beth Bloom, to the Southern District of Florida; and Geoffrey Crawford, to the District of Vermont. Read more »

Senate Confirms Three History-Making Judges

Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed Judge Darrin Gayles (to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida), Judge Salvador Mendoza (to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington), and Staci Yandle (to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois). As White House Counsel Neil Eggleston noted in a blog post, all three of these confirmed judges have broken barriers in their respective districts. Judge Gayles is the first openly gay African American man to be confirmed as a lifetime-appointed federal judge in our nation’s history; Judge Mendoza is the first Hispanic judge to serve on his court; and now-Judge Yandle is the first African American to serve on her court and the first openly gay lifetime-appointed federal judge in Illinois. This marks the first time that two openly gay judges have been confirmed on the same day. In addition, with today’s confirmations, President Obama has appointed more female federal judges than any other President and more Hispanic judges than any other President. Read more »

Nancy Moritz Confirmed to Tenth Circuit Yesterday

Yesterday, Nancy Moritz was confirmed to a Kansas-based seat on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Moritz, formerly a Justice on the Kansas Supreme Court, becomes the third active female judge on the Tenth Circuit. She is the 18th woman confirmed to the federal Courts of Appeal under the Obama Administration

Following Judge Moritz's confirmation, there are 20 female nominees currently pending before the Senate. Read more »