Supreme Court Appointment and Nomination
The procedure for appointing a Supreme Court Justice is provided for by the Constitution in only a few words. The “Appointments Clause” (Article II, Section 2, clause 2) states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advise and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the supreme Court.”
The process of appointing Justices has undergone changes over two centuries, but its most basic feature–the sharing of power between the President and Senate–has remained unchanged. To receive lifetime appointment to the Court, a candidate must first be nominated by the President and then confirmed by the Senate. Although not mentioned in the Constitution, an important role is played midway in the process (after the President selects, but before the Senate considers) by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Since the end of the Civil War, almost every Supreme Court nomination received by the Senate has first been referred to and considered by the Judiciary Committee before being acted on by the Senate as a whole.
How do US Supreme Court justices get appointed? – Peter Paccone
- “Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee,” CRS Report R44236 (31-page PDF)
- “Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee,” CRS Report R44235 (33-page PDF)
- “Confirmation of U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During Presidential Election Years: Frequently Asked Questions,” CRS Report R46533 (31-page PDF)
- “Judicial Nomination Statistics and Analysis: U.S. Circuit and District Courts, 1977-2020,” CRS Report R45622 (50-page PDF)
- “Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 to 2020 Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President,” CRS Report RL33225 (58-page PDF)
- “Supreme Court Appointment Process: Senate Debate and Confirmation Vote,” CRS Report R44234 (32-page PDF)
- Nomination / Confirmation (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- The President’s Nominations to Federal Courts (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- The Constitution of the United States, Article. II. Section. 2. Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments
- Filibuster, Cloture, Presidential Nominations, Article II Section 2 – CRS Reports
- Supreme Court Nominations
- Chapter 8.B. Nominations in Congressional Procedure
- “Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court,” by Ilya Shapiro
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