What role does the US President play in appointing Supreme Court justices?
Under Article II of the Constitution, the President has the sole authority to nominate candidates to fill vacancies on the US Supreme Court, with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. Appointment requires a simple majority vote of the Senate (51% of those present).
Article II, Section 2
The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.
He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.
The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.
The President. Remember, the President appoints the Supreme Court Justices. Also, the President is part of the Executive Branch of the Government, and supervises the Judicial Branch of the Government (in which the Supreme Court is a part of, thus subsequently the Court Justices are a part of it as well).
How can president use the power of appointment to influence the direction of supreme court decisions?
A president can influence the direction of supreme court decisions by appointing supreme court justices that think the same way he does. For example President Obama appointed Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor they are more liberal; while President Bush appointed John Roberts a more conservative justice.
The appointment of Supreme Court Justices is important to anyone with sharply defined opinions about Constitutional law issues. Supreme Courts justices are appointed for life and likely to stay in office for many years and have a profound influence on the direction of the country long after the president has left office and maybe even long after his party has lost power. The Supreme Court is tremendously powerful because there is no way to reverse…
Congress reduced the size of the US Supreme Court from 10 to 7 justices in the Judiciary Act of 1866 in order to prevent President Andrew Johnson from appointing any justices to vacancies on the Court. Congress increased the size of the Court from 7 to 9 after Johnson left office, in the Judiciary Act of 1869. The number of seats has remained constant ever since.
William Howard Taft (1921-1930) was the only former US President (1909-1913) to serve on the Supreme Court, so he's the only one who had an opportunity to make major decisions. The President has no role in the operation of the Supreme Court beyond appointing justices to vacancies. He (or she) doesn't participate in the Court's decisions.
The constitution limits the powers of the Supreme Court by letting the president (executive branch) choose the supreme court justices, and pardoning people. The legislative branch limits the power of the supreme court by approving the justices that the President choose and by amending the Constitution.