What is the process for appointing federal judges?
Article III judges and justices, such as those who serve in US District Court, US Court of International Trade, US Court of Appeals Circuit Courts, and the Supreme Court of the United States are nominated by the President and appointed with the "advice and consent" of the Senate.
Article III courts are those that comprise the Judicial Branch of the federal government:
- US District Courts
- US Court of International Trade
- US Court of Appeals Circuit Courts
- Supreme Court of the United States
The overall process is similar to that used to confirm US Supreme Court justices, with the FBI conducting a full background check, and the Senate Judiciary Committee evaluating the candidate before making a recommendation to the full Senate. The Senate must approve the nomination by a simple majority (51%) of those voting, unless an opposing Senator filibusters the appointment, in which case 60 votes are required to invoke cloture (end the filibuster).
While the appointment process requires participation of both the Executive and Legislative branches, historically, the President is credited with the appointment.
The federal judiciary also includes Article I judges, who preside over courts or tribunals of limited power and jurisdiction, often connected to government departments and agencies.
While these courts are not considered part of the Judicial Branch, some judges, like those who sit on the US Court of Claims, are nominated by the President, and approved by the Senate, just like Article III judges, but only sit for a fixed term of 15 years, and don't enjoy some of the other benefits afforded Article III judges.
Others, like judges for US Bankruptcy Courts, are appointed by appellate judges of the US Court of Appeals Circuit Court with jurisdiction a particular Bankruptcy Court's territory. And some Article I judges (like administrative law judges, or ALJ's) are hired by the agency they serve, such as the Social Security Administration's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.
Why did the Framers create a system of appointing judges that required cooperation between the President and the Senate?
By requiring cooperation between the Executive and Legislative branches in regard to the particular task of appointing federal judges, the Founders (or, Framers) of the U.S. intended to establish balance in government and to avoid rapid (and radical) political change. No single governmental branch is able to appoint judges in their vital roles (balance); the process requires discussion, even debate (slow change).
Which practice in the selection process for federal judges allows senators to block nominations to federal courts in their home states?
Presidents have the power to change the direction of the supreme court and the federal judiciary by?
Appointment of federal judges is a two-step process involving both the Executive and Legislative Branches of government. The President (Executive Branch) nominates someone for a vacancy on the bench, and the Senate (Legislative Branch) approves or rejects the nomination to complete the appointment. The executive branch (specifically the President) appoints federal judges subject to confirmation by the Senate.
What are the methods of judicial selection for federal appellate judges state appellate judges and state trial court judges?
There are two types of federal judges: those appointed under Articles II and III of the Constitution, and those appointed under Articles I or IV. Article II and III judges are what we typically think of as "federal judges", as they sit on the various District, Appellate, and Supreme Courts. They are appointed by the President, but must be confirmed by a simple majority vote of the Senate. The House has no say in their…