Federal Courts, Empty Benches: The Wednesday Vacancy Count 8/8/2012
- For a District by District break down, see: Federal Court Vacancy Warning System
The current vacancy warning level for the U.S. District courts is set at Blue. There was one new confirmation this week. That leaves the final tally at 75 vacancies or approximately 8.6% 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||7.8% or 14 vacancies|
|District Courts||9% or 61 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.
The new weekly map feature will be updated every week and posted here and on the vacancy warning level analysis page.
Eastern District of Michigan
On August 2, 2012, Gershwin Drain was confirmed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after a vote of 55-41.  Drain was originally appointed on November 17, 2011 , by Barack Obama to the seat vacated by Bernard Friedman. At the time of appointment, Drain was a judge of the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, Michigan. He was rated Unanimously Qualified by the American Bar Association. He had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 29, 2012 and you can find his Committee Questionnaire Available Here and his Questions for the Record Available Here. The confirmation fills the one of four vacancies on the court of fifteen, lowering the vacancy warning level from Orange to Yellow.
There were no new vacancies this past week.
Eastern District of New York
On August 2, 2012 President Barack Obama nominated Pamela Ki Mai Chen to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York to fill the vacancy left by Raymond Dearie. Pamela Ki Mai Chen currently serves as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. Chen attended University of Michigan, earning her B.A. in 1983. She went on to earn her J.D. in 1986 from Georgetown University Law Center. Obama commented on the nomination, stating, “I am proud to nominate this outstanding candidate to serve on the United States District Court bench. Pamela Chen has a long and distinguished record of service, and I am confident she will serve on the federal bench with distinction.” The nomination would fill the only vacancy on the court of fifteen.
|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.|