U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: Senate Rejections and Committee Votes Other Than to Report Favorably, 1939-2013 [May 29, 2014] [open pdf - 304KB]
"Once a nomination to a U.S. circuit court of appeals or district court judgeship is submitted to the Senate by the President, the Senate almost invariably refers it to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If the Judiciary Committee schedules a vote on a nominee, it usually will vote on a motion to report the nomination favorably. However, the committee could also vote on a motion to report without recommendation, to report unfavorably, or to table the nomination. If the committee votes to report--whether favorably, without recommendation, or unfavorably--the nomination moves to the full Senate. By contrast, the nomination remains in committee if the committee votes against reporting, if there is no committee vote on the nomination, or if the committee votes to table the nomination. Once a nomination is reported to the Senate by the Judiciary Committee, the nomination is listed on the Senate's Executive Calendar, with Senate consideration of the nomination scheduled by the majority leader. On rare occasions, the Senate, when voting on confirmation, has rejected a circuit or district court nomination. In such cases, the nomination is then returned to the President with a resolution of disapproval. […] This report lists the votes cast by the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate on each of the 19 nominations and identifies senatorial courtesy, ideological disagreement, and concern over nominees' qualifications as among the circumstances that led to committee consideration of actions other than a favorable report (or other than approval by the full Senate)."
CRS Report for Congress, R40470