Posts tagged ‘Article II’

Appointment and Confirmation of Federal Judges

The power to appoint all federal judges is shared by the president and the Senate. The legal framework for such appointments is established by provisions within the Constitution under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2.

Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building
Creative Commons License photo credit: LithiumP4

Nominations for judicial appointments by the president are transmitted by message to the Senate. The message is read and the Senate executive clerk assigns a consecutive number to the message. In most instances, the Senate Judiciary Committee begins the consideration of a nomination by gathering more information about the individual nominated. The nomination of federal judges is subject to a committee hearing, during which the nominee and others testify.

Several options are available to the Judiciary Committee regarding the disposition of a nomination, and the Committee is not required to act upon nominations at all. In the event the Committee chooses to report a nomination, it can choose to do so favorably, unfavorably or without any recommendation.

The committee chair usually reports the nomination to theCongressional Deskbook, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider full Senate. The legislative clerk then notifies the executive clerk, who assigns the nomination a number and places it on the executive calendar of the Senate. When a nomination is considered by the full Senate, it is done in executive session, not a legislative session. The procedures utilized during an executive session are similar in nature to a legislative session. One exception is that floor consideration may not begin until a nomination has been placed on the calendar for a minimum of one day, except in the case of unanimous consent.

Only rarely does the Senate vote to reject a nomination. Unsuccessful nominations typically die from inaction. On occasion, a nomination may be sent back to the Committee for further consideration. Under Senate rules, pending nominations may be sent back to the president when the Senate recesses or adjourns for more than thirty days. The Senate retains the right to waive this rule by unanimous consent.

When a nominee is confirmed, the secretary of the Senate will attest to a “resolution of confirmation,” which is then sent to the White House. The president may also choose to withdraw a nomination at any time, which ends the nomination process.

To learn more about Congressional hearings, consider TheCapitol.Net’s 1-day course in Washington, DC: Congressional Dynamics and the Legislative Process; or the 3-day Capitol Hill Workshop.

Reference: Congressional Deskbook, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider, Section 10.80 Congress and the Executive: Appointments, and Section 10.81 Confirmation Procedure.

For more information about presentation and testifying training from TheCapitol.Net, see these resources:

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

What Role Does the President Play in Legislation?

Lansdowne portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 1796The executive power of the United States is vested by the Constitution in a president.

For instance, Article II, Section 3, states that the President

shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient

The latter portion of this clause is referred to as the Recommendations Clause and it has been used by Presidents for the basis of making legislative proposals to Congress as well as for declining to make legislative proposals, even when called upon by Congress to do so.

Another clause relevant to the role of the president in Article II, Section 3, provides that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This provision is known as the Take Care Congressional Deskbook, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy SchneiderClause. Under some laws, agencies are required to submit proposals to the President before they submit them to Congress. Congress has frequently taken action to provide agencies and federal employees with independence from the President.

There are executive branch agencies, such as the FCC, and legislative branch agencies, such as the Government Accountability Office. Both types of agencies are typically vested with the authority to execute specific laws. At the same time, agencies must abide by decisions from the judicial branch.

It is not uncommon for agencies to play a critical role in the drafting of laws. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that a large portion of legislation that is considered within the legislative process is often either drafted or influenced by employees of the executive branch.

To learn more about drafting legislation, consider TheCapitol.Net’s 2-day Legislative Drafting Workshop.

Reference: Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook, by Tobias Dorsey, Sections 10.10 and 10.11: The Role of the President in Legislation and Agencies and Tensions within the Executive Branch; United States Constitution.

For more information about drafting legislation and statutory construction, see these resources from TheCapitol.Net:

Tags: , , , , , , , ,