Examines relevant considerations with respect to the questioning of judicial nominees. Discusses applicable canons of judicial ethics that may discourage judicial nominees from answering certain questions posed by Members of Congress. Addresses types of questions prior Federal judicial nominees have answered or declined to answer, focusing on nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court; and concludes with some takeaways for Members.
Examines four recent confirmation hearings (Ginsburg, Alito, Roberts, and Sotomayor), and provides excerpts of the Q&A. Discusses purpose of Committee questioning and range of subjects historically covered, and reviews position of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on questioning Supreme Court nominees.
Examines procedure for selection of a nominee by the President. Explains how vacancies occur, advice and consent, criteria for selecting a nominee, background investigations, speed by which a President selects a nominee, and recess appointments.
Provides information and analysis related to final stage of the confirmation process for a judicial nomination to the Supreme Court, specifically full Senate consideration of the nomination, including floor debate and the vote on whether to approve the nomination.
Background on Previous Nominations / Court History
Provides data and analysis related to nominations made to the Supreme Court during Presidential election years from 1900 to the present, of which there have been eight. Covers nominations made to fill actual vacancies and nominations made for anticipated future vacancies on the Court, as well as recess appointments during Presidential election years.
Reviews historical context for the nomination to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, following death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Provides data and analysis related to nominations made to the Supreme Court during years when the party of the President is the same as the majority party in the Senate, and when the party of the President is different than the majority party in the Senate.
Lists, describes, and discusses actions taken by the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the President on all Supreme Court nominations, 1789-2010. Provides historical background on the Supreme Court appointment process, and uses nomination statistics to illustrate how the appointment process has evolved over time.
Discusses nominees who were not confirmed by Senate from 1789-2010. Reviews the confirmation process; summarizes unsuccessful nominations; addresses factors behind unsuccessful nominations; and examines role of Committee on the Judiciary in the confirmation process.