It has been my distinct privilege to get to know Judge Linn well given that my wife was one of his early clerks from 2002-04. All the best to Judge Linn and his family!
While Judge Linn will continue to hear cases in the capacity of senior status, this announcement gives the court a second vacancy. Unfortunately, politics is holding up confirmation of circuit court judges by the Senate. It does not appear that the Senate has confirmed a circuit court judge since May.
Richard Taranto was nominated last November to the seat vacated by Chief Judge Paul Michel in May 2010. This was after the Judiciary Committee refused to take action on the nomination of Edward DuMont. Taranto was confirmed by the Committee on March 29, 2012. Since then . . . nothing. He is awaiting debate and a vote by the entire Senate.
Hopefully, things will get moving again after the election. Until then, vacancies on the Federal Courts continue to mount.