Senators are not the only ones who aid the president

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Senators are not the only ones who aid the president in this way, though. Almost anyone with some connection to the president can help with name-gathering. The Department of Justice often provides the most help. White House aides sometimes also suggest candidates, as was the case in the nomination of David Souter. Allegedly, White House Chief of Staff, John Sununu, suggested that President Bush consider fellow New Hampshire resident (―David‖). Souter was formally nominated and eventually confirmed. Finally, the American Bar Association and sitting justices 9 may also provide their input. Once a candidate is chosen, the president formally nominates that person by sending their name to the Senate. Since its creation in 1816, the nomination is first received by the Senate Judiciary Committee (Maltese 88). The Committee receives the 9 Taft would often give the current president his opinion of nominees, even when such opinions were unsolicited (Abraham 23).
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21 name and starts an investigation into the qualifications and background of the candidate. 10 To make their assessment, they gather and analyze all of the nominee s past writing, including written opinions if the nominee had previously served on another court. Often, written opinions from lower courts are the most helpful in deciding the jurisprudential philosophy of the nominee. After the Committee finishes their investigation, they vote and make a recommendation to the full Senate about whether or not to approve the nominee. Next, the full Senate votes to approve the nominee. If the nominee receives a majority of votes, he or she becomes a Supreme Court justice. If the nominee does not receive a majority number of votes, the nomination fails and the process starts over. In addition to voting to confirm, the Senate can vote to return the nomination to the Committee. If that happens, then the Committee often takes no further action, and the nomination dies, requiring the president to make another nomination (Maltese 3, 10-11). Although Article II provides the basic mechanism for how a nominee becomes confirmed as a justice, nowhere in the Constitution are qualifications for nominations listed. The lack of explicit qualifications is not oversight, but instead, probably results from the many compromises made between Federalists and Anti-Federalists during the Constitutional Convention and debates prior to ratification (Abraham 20). Despite the absence of qualifications in the Constitution, most nominees have had several things in common. 10 The FBI also conducts an invasive, exhaustive background check. The American Bar Association used to issue a report to the Senate and the President prior to formal nomination. Now, however, the ABA is not informed of candidates before formal nomination. Instead, the ABA issues their report after the Senate receives the formal nomination.
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22 Geographic Diversity George Washington, being the first president to nominate justices, had specific criteria that all of his appointees met. Many of his original criteria are still used by modern presidents when choosing their nominees.
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