- All federal judges are appointed by the President with 'the advice and consent of the Senate'
- The President's appointee will have to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- This Committee will then give a recommendation to the full Senate, and then there is a vote of the full senate (more than 50% of the vote is sufficient for the appointment to be ratified)
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Factors influencing appointments
- Almost always associated with the President's party
- Usually share the President's political and/or judicial philosophy e.g. FDR appointed those that thought federal government could/should have an interventionis role. AND Reagan appointed those less concerned with the rights of suspects than the majority on the existing court.
- Must be legally qualified. e.g. Harrier Miers in 2006 forced to withdraw. The American Bar Association gives a rating for each potential appointee (though conservatives accuse it of being left-leaning)
- Now accepted that must be at least one woman, one black and a Catholic.
- The justices' attitude to abortion is thought to be crucial, although candidates will normally refrain from giving direct answers to this question in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
- Rejection of the President's choice by the Senate is politically damaging. Hence the President will try and choose someone who will be acceptable (more difficult if the opposing party control the Senate)
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Similar Government & Politics resources:
Using your own knowledge as well as the extract, consider the extent to which Parliament may be said to have ‘undermined the independence of the judiciary’.