Supreme Court Appointment

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Becoming a United State Supreme Court Justice is a very powerful and extremely prestige’s job. There are limited spots on the justice’s bench and being part of that bench means the whole nation will be affected on the decisions the justices makes. In total, there are nine Justices that are active and hold the highest-ranking judicial body in the United States. Being a federal judge has perks such as holding lifetime appointments and only leave their positions if they resign, die, or are impeached (White,2016).

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Becoming a Supreme Court judge allows them to have a secured job. Moreover, these nine Justices did not solely apply or gave themselves the title to become a Justice for the Supreme Court. They receive their honors and titles by going through a special appointment and confirmation process. This process consists of several steps set forth by the United States Constitution, in which it has been further refined and developed throughout the U.S history.

The Supreme Court is the only court whose existence is mandated by the Constitutions (Freund,2000). Being the highest federal court in the Nation, the appointment process for a Justice is followed by the guided line of the Constitutions in which the candidates are nominated by the President of the United States. According to article two of the constitution, it is a requirement for the presidents to have authority with the advice and consent of the senate to nominate an individual who he believes will best fit a justice for the Supreme Court (White, 2016). Most president tend to choose candidates that share the same ideological views as they do. Presidents will also choose a candidate who he sees is well qualified and as someone who generally serves his political interest. There are numerous factors that are taken into consideration when a president is nominating a candidate. This includes experiences, personal loyalties, ethnicity, and gender. The candidates are also thoroughly examined to their payments to domestic help and all their tax payments (Shipan, 2014). However, when a president nominates a candidate, it does not mean that candidate will automatically become a justice of the Supreme Court. The president’s nomination is only the first step of the appointment process.

After a candidate is formally announced and nominated by the president, the nominee is then turned over to hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Depending on the contentiousness of the choice, the hearing can last up to many days or even months (Mantanaro,2016). During this hearing procedure, the nominee is heavily questioned and interviewed by the committee to tries to uncover any dark secrets or past indiscretions that the nominee might possessed. This hearing process is like a job interview but also with an extremely rigorous background checked by the FBI. The nominees are also given questions regarding social and political issues, as well as constitution controversies (McMillion,2018). Afterward, once the nominee is asked a series of questions and the hearing is executed, The Judiciary Committee makes a vote. The Committee utilizes the nominee’s testimony and take them into consideration when they vote onto whether to put the candidate before the full Senate. After all The Committee has voted on the nominee, they send their votes to the full Senate with a favorably, negatively, or without recommendation. A vote from the committee must reach a unanimous consent to move forward the nominee (McMillion,2018). These votes give the Senate a decent idea to whether the nominee is suitable enough for them to even considered deciding if they should be entitled to a justice for the Supreme Court or not.

Once the Committee has submitted their votes to the full senate, the whole Senate considers it. From this point, members of the Senate can debate on whether the nominee is suitable or not. Most of the rejections occurs at this point because the Senate majority has been a different political party than the president. This is due to the Senate and president having different beliefs in political ideas and different standing point for political position, which result in the nominee to be rejected. If the Senate does not approve the nomination, the president must start the process of nominating another candidate again and go through the appointment and confirmation once again. On the other hand, if the Senate does approve the nominee after their debates, there must be a simple majority vote to be confirmed (Jalonick,2017). If a tie happens to occur, it would be broken up by the vice president to disrupt the tie.

Assuming the Senate favored the nominee and the majority vote was in their favor, the nominee now has the consent to move to the final steps of the appointment and confirmation process. This final step gives the president consent to write a written appointment, allowing the nominee to take the constitutional and judicial oaths. When taking this oath, the nominee must reside, “”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So, help me God “” (Gill,2018). After the nominee takes their oath they are official sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme court. The appointment and confirmation process for a Supreme Court Justice is very critical and an important procedure. This process insures and allow the Senates and the whole judicial branch to choose the best and highly qualified candidate to become a very powerful individual who must make life changing decisions. Therefore, becoming a United State Supreme Court Justice is a highly prestige’s career and only a hand full are entitle and fit for the job.


FREUND, P. A. (2000). Supreme Court (History). In L. W. Levy & K. L. Karst (Eds.), Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (2nd ed., Vol. 5, pp. 2588-2595). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. Retrieved from

Gill, Kathy. (2018, June 23). The Oaths of Office for President, Vice President, Judges and Congress. Retrieved from

Jalonick, M. C. (2017, March 19). The Supreme Court confirmation process explained. The Associated Press. Retrieved October 5, 2018, from

McMillion, B. J. (2018). Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Retrieved October 6, 2018, from

Montanaro, D. (2016, February 14). 7 Things to Know About Presidential Appointments to The Supreme Court. National Public Radio, Inc. Retrieved October 5, 2018, from

Shipan, C. R., Allen, B. T., & Bargen, A. (2014). Choosing When to Choose: Explaining the Duration of Presidential Supreme Court Nomination Decisions. Congress & the Presidency, 41(1), 1.

White, E. (2016, August 11). Presidential Appointments and the Lasting Legacy of the Federal Judiciary. Retrieved October 6, 2018, from

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Supreme Court Appointment. (2020, Mar 27). Retrieved from