More than 100 vacancies occur throughout the federal circuit and district courts at the present time. The Federal Bar Association says that the Senate must “act promptly” on confirming the President’s nominees because “the increasing number of federal judicial vacancies throughout the federal court system is straining the capacity of the federal courts to administer justice in an adequate and timely manner.” The association also says that this lack of judges causes “unnecessary hardship and increased costs on individuals and businesses” with pending lawsuits.
President Donald Trump recognizes the need to fill the judge positions. After seeing Judge Neil Gorsuch successfully confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, he turned his attention to filling other positions. He recognizes his opportunity to leave a “mark” on the lower courts of the federal court system as he fills the lifetime appointments.
In keeping with his responsibility, President Trump named ten nominees for the federal judiciary on Monday, May 8, 2017. Many of the nominees are still in their 40s. Fred Lucas at The Daily Signal quotes legal scholar John Malcolm as saying, “They all appear to be bright, young, capable conservatives who promise to be outstanding judges; some are already judges.”
Lucas also quotes Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, as saying:
These 10 individuals the president has chosen were chosen for their deep knowledge of the law and their commitment to upholding constitutional principles. Two of the nominees today came from the list of potential Supreme Court nominees that the president released during the campaign. … The president followed the principles that were used to guide that list to select the additional eight individuals…. I think you will continue to see a very robust amount of announcements on not just the judicial front, but on several fronts.
Since most of the Justices on the Supreme Court came from the Appeals Court, we may see some of these same people nominated to fill future openings there. They may not be on the short list simply by confirmation to an Appeals Court, but they will definitely be on the long list. The Appeals Courts hear hundreds, maybe thousands, of cases each year, while the Supreme Court takes about seventy-five cases annually.