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Federal Courts, Empty Benches: The Wednesday Vacancy Count 3/5/2014

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FederalVacancy yellow.png
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

March 5, 2014

By Courtney Collins

This week's Federal Courts, Empty Benches: The Wednesday Vacancy Count includes nominations, confirmations and vacancies from February 26, 2014 to March 4, 2014. Nominations, confirmations and vacancies occurring on March 5th will be reflected in the March 12th report.

The vacancy warning level remained at yellow this week after one new vacancy and no new confirmations. The vacancy percentage rose to 10.8%. There were no new nominations this week, which allowed the total number of nominees waiting for confirmation to rise to 60. The number of vacancies of Article III judges rose to 93 out of 865. A breakdown of the vacancies on each level can be found in the table below. For a more detailed look at the vacancies on the federal courts, see our Federal Court Vacancy Warning System.

Vacancies by court

Court # of Seats Vacancies
Supreme Court 9 0% or no vacancies
Appeals Courts 179 9.5% or 17 vacancies
District Courts 677 11.2% or 76 vacancies
All Judges 865 10.8% or 93 vacancies

New confirmations

There were no new confirmations this week.

New vacancies

Fourth Circuit

Andre Davis

Andre Davis assumed senior status on February 28, 2014 after serving on a federal court for more than 18 years. He started his career as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, to which President Bill Clinton nominated him in 1995. After 5 years on the district court, Davis was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2000 by President Clinton, but the nomination died due to the Thurmond Rule, which allows the Senate to stop the nomination process on judicial nominees in an election year. President George W. Bush chose not to renominate Davis when he was elected. Instead, President George W. Bush tried and failed to fill the vacancy on the Fourth Circuit with two different candidates, but they were blocked by Senators from Maryland.[1] The nomination that would result in the confirmation of Davis to the Fourth Circuit would come in 2009 by President Barack Obama.[2] Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP commented on Davis' career:
We are indebted to Judge Davis for his extraordinary service on Maryland’s state and federal courts. Judge Davis played a historic role in diversifying Maryland’s federal appellate bench, and he made enormous contributions to that court’s jurisprudence. He is held in the highest regard by the communities served by the court, his colleagues on the bench, and all who appeared before him.[3][4]

Andre Davis' transition to senior status creates the only vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The vacancy warning level rose from green to blue.

FederalVacancy Blue.png

New nominations

Southern District of Florida

Robin L. Rosenberg

On February 26, 2014, Robin L. Rosenberg was nominated by President Barack Obama to fill a vacancy on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. President Barack Obama on the nomination:
I am pleased to nominate this distinguished individual to serve on the United States District Court bench. Judge Rosenberg has a long and impressive record of service, and I am confident she will serve on the federal bench with distinction.[5][4]

Rosenberg is currently a Judge on the Florida Fifteenth Circuit Court, where she has served since 2007. She earned her B.A. from Princeton in 1983 and her J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1989. She also holds an M.A. from Duke University, earned in the same year as her J.D.

The vacancy on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida was created when Adalberto Jordan was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Southern District of Florida currently has three vacancies of its 18 posts. The vacancy warning level is currently set at yellow.

FederalVacancy yellow.png

Weekly map

The weekly map is updated every week and posted here and on the vacancy warning level analysis page.


See also


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