Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Homespun Symposium XVII

From the Discerning Texan, this week's Homespun Symposium:

The US Constitution requires a "supermajority" only in the following instances:

* Article I - To expel a member of Congress
* Article I - To convict in an Impeachment Trial
* Article I - Legislation can be enacted over a Presidential veto if two-thirds of each house approves
* Aritcle II - The ratification of treaties
* Article V - To amend the Constitution
* 14th Amendment - To restore the right of federal service to Civil War Confederates who had previously sworn allegiance to the United States
* 25th Amendment - Two thirds of both houses can conclude the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

The Constitution does not require a supermajority to approve judges, however it does give the President the authority to appoint federal judges "with the Advice and Consent" of the Senate.

In Federalist 66, Alexander Hamilton wrote:

"It will be the office of the President to nominate, and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint. There will of course be no exertion of choice on the part of the Senate. They may defeat one choice of the Executive, and oblige him to make another; but they cannot themselves choose--they can only ratify or reject the choice he may have made."

Here then is my question:

Given the facts listed above, and given the recent attention to the judiciary resulting from the Terri Schiavo and other controversial decisions of an "active judiciary", does the President of the United States have Constitutional authority to an up or down (simple majority) vote on his judicial nominees? If not, describe the basis of Constitutional law under which this right is forfeit.

Please email marvin at marvinhutchens dot com with the permalink to your response and it'll be added here.


Homespun Response

Discerning Texan
Bunker Mulligan