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APA Federal Judges and Nominations

Asian Pacific Americans and the Federal Judiciary:  
Article III Courts

As of February 6, 2018

APA Federal Judges: A Snapshot

Article III Judgeships

Authorized

APAs

Supreme Court

9

0

Court of Appeals

179

6

District Courts

674

20

Court of Int'l Trade

9

1

Total

871

27

  • Pending Nominations: 
    • Judge Karen Gren Scholer - U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    • Jill Otake - U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii
    • John Nalbandian - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Current Appointments

Today, there are 27 APA serving as Article III judges across the United States federal appellate and district courts. If the number of APA judges reflected the general population, there should be approximately 11-12 APA federal appellate court judges, and 40-41 APA federal district court judges.

U.S. Court of Appeals

  • Six active appellate judges out of 179 judgeships
  • One senior status judge: Judge A. Wallace Tashima (Ninth Circuit)
  • Pending nominations:
    • John Nalbandian, nominated Jan. 23, 2018, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. District Courts & U.S. Court of International Trade

  • Twenty active judges out of 674 district court judgeships and on out of nine on the Court of International Trade
  • Three senior status judges
  • Pending nominations:
    • Judge Karen Gren Scholer, nominated Sept. 7, 2017, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    • Jill Otake, nominated Dec. 20, 2017, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii

A History of APA Articles III Judges 

Confirmations by Presidents

President

Confirmed

Eisenhower

1*

Nixon

3

Ford

2

Carter

2

Reagan

2

George H.W. Bush

0

Clinton

5

George W. Bush

4

Obama

22

 Trump 2


*Chief Judge Cyrus Nils Tavares (D. Hawaii) and his family identify as Native Hawaiian.


Prior to the Obama administration, there had not been more than two nominations or confirmations of APAs to Article III judgeships during any year. This trend has continued into the first year of the Trump administration.


Other Federal Courts

Article IV U.S. Territorial Courts

·         Article IV judges serve on the U.S. Territorial Courts. Judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They serve a 10-year term

·         Two of the three authorized Art. IV district court judgeships are held by APAs

District of Columbia Courts

·         Judges that serve on the District of Columbia courts are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They serve a 15-year term.

·         Zero active APA D.C. Court of Appeals judges (of nine authorized seats)

·         Two active APA D.C. Superior Court judges (of sixty-one authorized seats)