"President Donald Trump’s major success has been confirming judges for the thirteen federal appellate courts. The President shattered records by appointing a dozen circuit jurists in his administration’s first year, eighteen judges over the course of 2018, and twenty additional judges throughout his third year. Indeed, by June 2019, the appeals courts experienced four vacancies in 179 judgeships and today, only one position remains empty. This achievement is critical, as these tribunals are the courts of last resort for nearly every appeal, and appellate court opinions articulate greater policy than district court rulings and cover multiple states.
However, that accomplishment does entail costs. In the haste of President Trump to quickly nominate, and the Republican Senate majority to expeditiously confirm, many able, ideologically conservative, young appeals court jurists, the President and the Senate neglect myriad open posts in the district courts. The district courts now realize seventy-three vacancies in 677 positions, forty-five of which are considered “judicial emergencies” due to remaining protracted and immense filings. District court jurists are the federal justice system’s “workhorses” and resolve most litigation, and the numerous openings place substantial pressures on the district courts. Thus, the judicial selection process under President Trump requires analysis." [..]
Carl Tobias, Filling the Federal District Court Vacancies, 22 N.Y.U J. of Legis. & Pub. Pol'y 421 (2020).