The Senate on Thursday evening confirmed four federal judges whose nominations had been stalled, leaving 34 judicial nominations pending.
The newly confirmed judges are John Gibney in the Eastern District of Virginia, James Bredar for the District of Maryland, Catherine Eagles in the Middle District of North Carolina and Kimberly Mueller in the Eastern District of California.
“For months, these nominations have languished before the Senate, without explanation and for no reason,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in a statement. “Today, we confirm them unanimously. These confirmations will help fill a few of the judicial vacancies around the country, which have reached historically high levels.”
The confirmations were the first for the judiciary since Sept. 13, said Leahy, who has been critical of Senate Republicans for refusing to clear a backlog of President Barack Obama’s nominees.
Eagles and Mueller were approved by the Judiciary Committee on May 6 and Gibney on May 27. Bredar was reported out of committee on June 10.
The Leahy statement noted that most of the pending nominations received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 19 of the nominations are to fill seats designated as judicial emergencies by the nonpartisan Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Of the 34 judicial nominations still pending before the Senate, eight are circuit court nominations.
Among the judicial nominees still in limbo are Goodwin Liu for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.