Federal Courts, Empty Benches:The Wednesday Vacancy Count 9/21/2011
- For a District by District break down, see: Federal Court Vacancy Warning System
The current vacancy warning level for the U.S. Federal courts is set at Yellow and is unchanged from last week despite confirmations, lowering the total vacancies to 90 and leaving approximately 10.4% of the total Article III posts currently unfilled. The vacancy information for the various court levels is as follows:
|(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)|
|More than 40%|
|Supreme Court||0% or no vacancies|
|Appeals Courts||9.5% or 17 vacancies|
|District Courts||10.7% or 73 vacancies|
There are currently 9 Supreme Court posts, 179 appellate court posts and 680 district court posts for a total of 868 Article III judges. This count includes four temporary posts, one each in the Northern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Southern District of Florida and the Central District of California. This also includes a shared post between the two Missouri districts and counts it as two posts with separate vacancies. There are currently 55 pending appointments in the Senate leaving 39% of the vacant posts without an appointment. So far this year there have been 35 confirmations.
District of South Carolina
On September 20, 2011, with a 99-0 vote, the United States Senate confirmed Timothy Cain to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. Cain was originally nominated by President Obama on February 16, 2011 to replace Patrick Duffy who assumed senior status in December, 2007. At the time of nomination, Cain was a South Carolina Family Courts judge for the Tenth Circuit. He earned his BS from the University of South Carolina, Columbia and his J.D. from University of South Carolina School of Law in 1986. The American Bar Association rated him Unanimously Qualified. His confirmation fills one of the longest vacancies on the court at just shy of four years. There are currently only five additional vacancies that have remained open longer. The confirmation lowers the vacancy warning level on the court from Blue to Green.
Eastern District of Missouri
On September 20, 2011, with a voice vote, the United States Senate confirmed John A. Ross to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He was nominated by Barack Obama on December 2, 2010 and the nomination was resubmitted on January 5, 2011 for the new congressional session. He earned his B.A. and J.D. at Emory University in 1976 and 1979 respectively. His confirmation fills the vacancy created on December 31, 2009 when Charles Shaw moved to senior status. The vacancy warning level for the court remains unchanged at Yellow with one remaining vacancy.
There were no new vacancies in the past week.
Western District of Texas
On September 14, 2011 President Obama nominated David Guaderrama to the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas to fill the vacancy created by David Briones upon his transition to senior status. Guaderrama has served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Western District of Texas since October 2010. Prior to that he served on the 243rd Judicial District in Texas. He received his B.A. from New Mexico State University and his J.D. from Notre Dame Law. Obama commented on the nomination, stating, “Throughout his career, Judge David Campos Guaderrama has displayed exceptional integrity and an unwavering commitment to justice. He will be an esteemed addition to the federal bench for the people of Texas. I am grateful for his dedication to public service.” The nomination would fill one of the 2 vacancies on the court of 13. The current vacancy warning level for the court is set at Yellow.
|This article was written by Joshua Meyer-Gutbrod, an Assistant Staff Writer for the Federal Courts Project on Judgepedia. He can be reached at joshua.meyer-gutbrod.|