— So far this year, the Senate has confirmed three appellate judges—David Stras (CA8) in January, Lisa Branch (CA11) in February, and Kyle Duncan (CA5) just last week—and eleven district judges. That takes the totals from the outset of the Trump administration to 15 appellate judges and 17 district judges (plus, of course, Justice Gorsuch).
— Six appellate nominations are pending on the Senate floor: Kurt Engelhardt (CA5), Michael Brennan (CA7), Joel Carson (CA10), John Nalbandian (CA6), Michael Scudder (CA7), and Amy St. Eve (CA7). Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has filed cloture motions on all six nominations. The vote on the first, on the Engelhardt nomination, is set to take place on the Senate’s return to business next Monday. The others, I assume, will follow thereafter. How long this process will take is unclear. . . .
— Two appellate nominees—Mark Bennett (CA9) and Andrew Oldham (CA5)—have had their committee hearing and await being reported out of committee to the Senate floor. Ditto for eight district nominees.
— Seven appellate picks await their committee hearing: Ryan Bounds (CA9), Britt Grant (CA11), Paul Matey (CA3), David Porter (CA3), and the three announced last week, Richard Sullivan (CA2), Jay Richardson (CA4), and Marvin Quattlebaum (CA4). Twenty-six district picks await their committee hearing, including five announced last week. (The nominations announced last week might not yet have been formally submitted.)Mr. Whelan points out the lengths to which the Democrats are willing to go to obstruct President Trump's nominees:
Ninth Circuit nominee Ryan Bounds was nominated in September 2017, after Oregon Democratic senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden forwarded his name to the White House as one of four finalists chosen by their own judicial-selection committee. But Merkley and Wyden have submitted negative blue slips on him.Despite the Democrats' delays and obstruction, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have prioritized vetting and confirming qualified judicial nominees. While they have sought to work with the Democrats, they have not allowed the Democrats to exercise unilateral vetoes. Thanks to their efforts and leadership, judges that respect the rule of law, the role of the courts, and the separation of powers are being confirmed at a record rate, which will have a beneficial and long-lasting impact on the entire country.