Yesterday the Senate confirmed Max Cogburn, Jr. to a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina on a vote of 96-0. The confirmation vote was significant in two ways. First, the Senate has up until this point only confirmed nominees on Mondays, so having two votes in one week is a good sign. Second, Cogburn was the fourth nominee confirmed this week, the most out of any week this Congress. With 117 remaining vacancies on the federal bench the Senate needs to keep confirming at least that many nominees a week to cut into the huge backlog of vacancies.
The Senate Judiciary Committee also reported six nominees to the floor. Caitlin Halligan, nominee to the United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia, was reported out on a 10-8, party-line vote. The other five nominees—Jimmie Reyna, nominee to the United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit, John A. Kronstadt, nominee to the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Vincent L. Briccetti nominee to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Arenda L. Wright Allen, nominee to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Michael Francis Urbanski, nominee to the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia—were reported out on voice votes. There are now three circuit court and eight district court nominees awaiting confirmation votes on the Senate floor.
For the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on judicial nominations, visit the Alliance for Justice’s Judicial Selection Project webpage.