Updated December 20, 2020
This page tracks the appointments of judges to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to the 15 federal district courts in the circuit.
New judges are appointed when an existing judgeship becomes vacant or a new judgeship is authorized by Congress. The person occupying the judgeship is referred to as an active judge. Judgeships become vacant when an active judge assumes senior status; is appointed to a higher court; resigns, retires or is removed from the bench; or upon the judge’s death.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is authorized 29 judgeships while the district courts of the circuit are authorized 112 judgeships. Since 2001, there have been 24 new circuit judges and 115 new district judges appointed.
Most judgeship vacancies result from a judge assuming senior status. Senior judges are judges who are eligible to retire at full salary but choose to continue serving their courts, gradually reducing their caseloads over time. Senior judges make a major contribution to the work of the courts.