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Judicial Nomination Commission

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JNC Application Process

JNC accepts judicial applications only when Notice of Judicial Vacancy is posted. Notices are widely distributed.  Interested individuals can sign up, via JNC’s list serve, to receive Notices when they issue.

Applications must be timely and complete.  Review JNC’s Application Instructions for detailed information. Applicants should expect a period of roughly 15 weeks from announcement of a vacancy until recommendation of candidates to the President.

Once an application period closes, the JNC publishes a list of applicants, solicits public comment, and conducts a background investigation of applicants. JNC follows up with applicants if needed.

Applicants may request interviews with individual Commissioners, and may be interviewed by the full Commission. The Commission will meet to select three applicants for each vacancy. Those names are submitted to the President, along with selected application and background materials.  The President then has 60 days to nominate a candidate. The Executive Office of the President may conduct additional interviews and investigation. The nominee is subject to Senate confirmation. There is no timeline for the Senate confirmation process.

The chart below summarizes the process once the Commission makes a recommendation.

Step Candidacy Proceeds Candidacy Halts
1. Commission recommends candidate on list of three names sent to President. President nominates candidate and sends to Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs. President declines nomination.
2. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs considers Committee sends nominee to Senate for confirmation. Committee returns nominee to President , who has discretion to re-nominate.
3. Senate votes on nominee’s confirmation. Nominee is confirmed and becomes a judge. Nominee is not confirmed and does not receive judgeship.

Please note: candidates recommended to the President for a vacancy remain viable candidates until the vacancy for which they were recommended has been filled, or until they withdraw their candidacy. Please contact the JNC with any questions about your status.

Have questions?

JNC will hold open conference calls when a notice of vacancy issues. Dates and times are posted with information about current vacancies. 

For more information, contact JNC Executive Director, at [email protected] or call at (202) 879-0478.