Best Answer

The President nominates new members to the Supreme Court, but the Senate must approve the nomination by a majority vote. This is part of the system of checks and balances that is supposed to prevent abuse of power.


When there is a vacancy on the bench the President (Executive branch) nominates a person to be a Supreme Court justice. Usually, the President receives recommendations from trusted advisors, or may have someone in mind whom an earlier President appointed to a US Court of Appeals Circuit Court to gain judicial experience.

The FBI investigates the nominee's background and returns a report to the Department of Justice, which compiles a report for the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Committee considers the candidate's judicial and personal record to determine suitability for office, then holds a hearing to question him or her about judicial record, political philosophy, ideology, and anything else they find appropriate. The Committee discusses the findings and may follow-up with addition written questions.

When the Committee is satisfied they have enough information to make a recommendation, they vote to decide whether to send the vote to the floor with a recommendation that the full Senate vote for or against commissioning the nominee. Occasionally, if the Committee is split in its opinion, they may send the vote to the floor with no recommendation.

The full Senate may hold its own hearing, which generally lasts less than a week, where they may also question the candidate before voting. If the nominee receives a simple majority of 51 votes, he or she officially becomes a Supreme Court Justice.

If the Senate rejects the nominee, the President will pick another nominee or may nominate the same person for additional review. This authority comes from Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution, which states that the President has the power to nominate, and by and with the consent of the Senate, appoint Judges of the Supreme Court. Thus the President nominates but does not appoint Justices of of the Supreme Court. Actual appointment occurs only after Senate confirmation.

For more information, see Related Questions, below.

User Avatar

Wiki User

โˆ™ 2012-01-24 19:45:16
This answer is:
User Avatar
Study guides

US Civil War

18 cards

Why were poll taxes created

What is a graduated income tax

What sparked the beginning of the Civil War

When Abraham Lincoln was elected president what was the result for the southern states

See all cards
155 Reviews

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: How are US Supreme Court justices appointed?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

Who elects US Supreme Court justices?

US Supreme Court justices are not elected, they are appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate.

Who is appointed by the president of the US for life?

Supreme Court Justices

How many male justices were appointed to the US Supreme Court before O'Day?

There were 101 MALE justices appointed to the US Supreme Court before Sandra Day O'Connor was appointed on July 7, 1981.

In what year were the most US Supreme Court justices appointed?

1789, when the first Supreme Court (of six members) was appointed by Washington.

How are US Supreme Court justices elected?

US Supreme Court justices are not elected. They are appointed by the President and approved (or rejected) by a simple majority vote of the Senate.

Who appoints and who approves US Supreme Court justices?

The President nominates US Supreme Court justices; they are appointed if approved by a simple majority vote of the Senate.

Which US President appointed the fewest Supreme Court justices?

Jimmy Carter and William Henry Harrison did not appoint any Supreme Court Justices.

How are the US Supreme Court justices hired?

They are appointed by the President, approved by the Senate.

What is a Term for office of the us supreme court justices?

No term. They are appointed for life.

How many US Supreme Court justices were appointed by Republican Presidents?


What are the 9 justices length of service?

US Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, or until they retire.

Which US supreme court judges were recess appointments?

Supreme Court justices cannot be appointed by the recess appointment process.

People also asked