President Trump has already picked who he wants to replace Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Along with that vacancy a new vacancy has arisen in the 1st Circuit with the death Monday of Judge Juan Torruella.
A replacement has not yet been announced but both could be confirmed before the first of the year regardless of the outcome of the election.
According to Fox News:
For Barrett’s old seat, Trump announced last Wednesday he plans to nominate Thomas L. Kirsch II, who is currently the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana. Kirsch is a former clerk for Judge John Daniel Tinder in the Southern District of Indiana, was previously a partner at a private law firm and held other positions with the Department of Justice (DOJ). Kirsch is a graduate of Indiana University and Harvard Law School.
It’s unclear who Trump might nominate to succeed Torruella.
The majority leader has operated under the mantra of “no vacancy left behind,” and it is possible he won’t be forced to leave these newly-minted circuit vacancies behind either. Trump announced his intention to nominate Kirsch on Oct. 21, leaving open a reasonable timeline for him to be confirmed by a Republican Senate even if the GOP loses its majority.
Under the tradition for circuit court nominees, senators are given four weeks of notice after a nominee is announced before a Judiciary Committee hearing, then four weeks after the hearing before the nominee is voted on.
This is just a tradition and not a rule and could lend itself to a confirmation for the 1st circuit before January 1.