"The procedure for appointing a Justice to the Supreme Court is provided for in the U.S. Constitution in only a few words. The “Appointments Clause” in the Constitution (Article II, Section 2, clause 2) states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... Judges of the supreme Court.” While the process of appointing Justices has undergone some changes over two centuries, its most essential feature— the sharing of power between the President and the Senate—has remained unchanged: To receive lifetime appointment to the Court, one must first be formally selected (“nominated”) by the President and then approved (“confirmed”) by the Senate.
For the President, the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice can be a notable measure by which
history will judge his Presidency. For the Senate, a decision to confirm is a solemn matter as well,
for it is the Senate alone, through its “Advice and Consent” function, without any formal
involvement of the House of Representatives, which acts as a safeguard on the President’s
judgment. This report provides information and analysis related to the final stage of the
confirmation process for a nomination to the Supreme Court—the consideration of the
nomination by the full Senate, including floor debate and the vote on whether to approve the