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Biden Falls Behind Trump And Obama In Article III Judicial Nominations

President Joe Biden has nominated 158 judges to Article III judgeships in 863 days, while Trump and Obama nominated more.

Through June 12, 2023, there were 890 authorized federal judicial posts and 76 vacancies. Seventy-five of those were for Article III judgeships. This report is limited to Article III courts, where appointees are confirmed to lifetime judgeships. Since May 1:

  1. 10 judges have been confirmed.
  2. Six judges have been nominated.

By June 1, 863 days in office, President Joe Biden (D) had nominated 158 judges to Article III judgeships. For historical comparison*: 

  1. President Donald Trump (R) had nominated 266 individuals, 170 of whom were ultimately confirmed to their positions.
  2. President Barack Obama (D) had nominated 195 individuals, 136 of whom were confirmed.
  3. President George W. Bush (R) had nominated 258 individuals, 170 of whom were confirmed.

*Note: These figures include unsuccessful nominations.

The following data visualizations track the number of Article III judicial nominations by president by days in office during the Biden, Trump, Obama, and W. Bush administrations (2001-present). 

The first tracker is limited to successful nominations, where the nominee was ultimately confirmed to their respective court:×181.png 300w

The second tracker counts all Article III nominations, including unsuccessful nominations (for example, the nomination was withdrawn or the U.S. Senate did not vote on the nomination), renominations of individuals to the same court, and recess appointments. A recess appointment is when the president appoints a federal official while the Senate is in recess.×182.png 300w

The data contained in these charts is compiled by Zenger News staff from publicly available information provided by the Federal Judicial Center. The comparison by days shown between the presidents is not reflective of the larger states of the federal judiciary during their respective administrations and is intended solely to track nominations by president by day.


Produced in association with Ballotpedia

Edited by Jessi Rexroad Shull and Kyana Jeanin Rubinfeld

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