Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the current status of judicial confirmations during her absence from the Senate while she recovers from shingles:

“The Senate continues to swiftly confirm highly qualified individuals to the federal judiciary, including seven more judicial nominees who were confirmed this week. There has been no slowdown.

“This includes the confirmation of Judge Wesley Hsu to the Central District of California. He will make an outstanding jurist and I’m proud to see him join the federal bench.

“While the Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced eight strong nominees during my absence, I’m disappointed that Republicans on the committee are blocking a few from moving forward. I’m confident that when I return to the Senate, we will be able to move the remaining qualified nominees out of committee quickly and to the Senate floor for a vote.”


Click HERE to view the status of every federal district or circuit court nominee in the Senate during Senator Feinstein’s absence.

Claim: Senator Feinstein’s absence has brought the judicial confirmation process to a standstill.

Fact: The Senate Judiciary Committee continues to hold hearings on nominees and advance them out of committee, and the Senate continues to confirm judicial nominees on the floor.

Claim: The Senate is unable to confirm any judicial nominees because of Senator Feinstein’s absence.

Fact: The Senate has confirmed 21 district and circuit court nominees during Senator Feinstein’s absence, including seven this week.

  • Democrats maintain a 50-49 majority on the floor and are able to continue confirming judges with or without bipartisan support. During the last Congress, the Senate confirmed 97 judges while the Senate was split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans.

Claim: The Senate Judiciary Committee is deadlocked and unable to advance any judicial nominees to the floor without Senator Feinstein.

Fact: The committee has advanced eight district and circuit court nominees during Senator Feinstein’s absence.

Claim: There is a large backlog of nominees who are unable to advance out of the Senate Judiciary Committee due to Senator Feinstein’s absence.

Fact: Only four district or circuit court nominees are currently eligible for a vote in committee.

  • Three more nominees received a hearing last month but won’t be eligible for a committee vote until next week.
  • The remaining nine nominees pending in the committee have not received a hearing yet and won’t be eligible for a committee vote until mid- to late-June at the earliest depending on when their confirmation hearing is scheduled.
  • Senator Feinstein’s absence does not prevent the committee from holding a hearing on any nominees.

Claim: Judicial nominees are not moving to the floor fast enough.

Fact: There are 19 district and circuit court nominees waiting for a vote on the floor, compared to just four nominees waiting to advance out of committee.

  • If the Senate did nothing but confirm judicial nominees, it would likely take at least three weeks of floor time to confirm all of the judicial nominees currently pending on the floor.