Federal Courts, Empty Benches: The Wednesday Vacancy Count 7/5/2012
- 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 and three new vacancies this week, leaving the final tally at 73 vacancies or approximately 8.4% 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||6.7% or 12 vacancies|
|District Courts||8.9% 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.
Middle District of Florida
On Friday, June 29, 2012 the United States Senate confirmed Brian Davis to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida with a voice vote. Davis was originally appointed on February 29, 2012, by Barack Obama to the seat vacated by Richard Lazzara. At the time of appointment, Davis was a judge for the Fourth Circuit Court in Nassau County, Florida. He was rated Unanimously Well Qualified by the ABA. He had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 9, 2012 and you can find his Committee Questionnaire Available Here and his Questions for the Record Available Here. The confirmation fills one of two vacancies on the court of fifteen, lowering the vacancy warning level from Yellow to Blue.
District of Hawaii
On June 27, 2012 David Alan Ezra assumed senior status after serving on the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii for 24 years. Ezra was originally appointed by Ronald Reagan and was a private practice attorney at the time of appointment. He served as chief judge from 1999 - 2005. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Ezra graduated from St. Mary`s University with his Bachelor's in Business Administration in 1969 and obtained his Juris Doctor Degree in 1972. Ezra served in the United States Army Reserves from 1971 to 1977. The vacancy creates the first vacancy on the court of four lowering the vacancy warning level from Green to Yellow.
Southern District of Iowa
On July 1, 2012 Robert Pratt assumed senior status after serving on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa for 15 years.  Pratt was originally appointed by Bill Clinton and was a private practice attorney at the time of appointment. He served as chief judge from 2006 - 2011. Born in Emmetsburg, Iowa, Pratt graduated from Iowa Lakes Community College with his Associate Degree in 1967 and later graduated from Loras College, in Duboque, IA in 1969. Pratt obtained his Juris Doctor degree from from Creighton University School of Law in 1972. The vacancy creates the first vacancy on the court of three lowering the vacancy warning level from Green to Orange. Stephanie Rose was appointed to fill the vacancy.
Eastern District of California
On July 4, 2012 Garland Burrell assumed senior status after serving on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California for 20 years.  Burrell was originally appointed by George H.W. Bush and was the Chief Attorney for the Civil Division at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. He served as chief judge from 2007 - 2008. Born in Los Angeles, California, Burrell served in the United States Marine Corps from 1966 to 1968 before graduating from California State University Los Angeles with his Bachelor's degree in 1972. Burrell received his Juris Doctor degree from the California Western School of Law in 1976 and earned an M.S.W. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1976.  The vacancy creates the first vacancy on the court of six lowering the vacancy warning level from Green to Yellow. Troy L. Nunley was appointed to fill the vacancy.
There were no new appointments during the past week.
- ↑ 112th Congress Confirmations
- ↑ United States Periodic Press Gallery
- ↑ 112th Congress Nomination Materials
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 US Courts Current judicial vacancies
- ↑ Judge Ezra's Biography at the Federal Judicial Center
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Judge Robert Pratt FJC Bio
- ↑ Judge Garland Burrell USDC, EDCA Court Profile
|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.|