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Understanding the Nomination Process
The nomination process has produced some of America's juiciest scandals in the past. It's also gone off without a hitch. The following resources may help in undestanding this process. Keep in mind that some sources reflect personal or partisan viewpoints.
Supreme Court Nomination Process
In June 2009, Pepperdine School of Law hosted a discussion
titled, "Supreme Court Nominations: The Confirmation Process,"
featuring ABC News Correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg and Princeton
University Provost Christopher Eisgruber.Part 1 is embedded below, see http://cli.gs/9meyUE for parts 2-4
Article II section 2 of the Constitution states
that the Presidents "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and
Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... Judges of the Supreme Court..." U.S.
Const. art. 2 § 2, cl. 2.
- The President usually will consult with Senators before announcing
- When the President nominates a candidate, the nomination is sent
to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.
- The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the nominee.
The Committee usually takes a month to collect and receive all necessary
records, from the FBI and other sources, about the nominee and for
the nominee to be prepared for the hearings.
- During the hearings, witnesses, both supporting and opposing the
nomination, present their views. Senators question the nominee on
his or her qualifications, judgment, and philosophy.
- The Judiciary Committee then votes on the nomination and sends
its recommendation (that it be confirmed, that it be rejected, or
with no recommendation) to the full Senate.
- The full Senate debates the nomination.
- The Senate rules allow unlimited debate (a practice known as filibustering).
To end the debate, it requires the votes of 3/5 of the Senate or
60 senators (known as the cloture vote).
- When the debate ends, the Senate votes on the nomination. A simple
majority of the Senators present and voting is required for the judicial
nominee to be confirmed. If there is a tie, the Vice President who
also presides over the Senate casts the deciding vote.
The nomination process is full of rules, regulations and procedures. The following links may provide helpful information in understanding how a Supreme Court Justice is confirmed.
You Tube on Soyomayor's Confirmation process