What process does the Constitution provide for the selection of United States Supreme Court justices?
- While federalism is one way the framers created a balance of power, the separation of powers is another. In our system of checks and balances, the executive, legislative and judicial branches are independent of each other and interdependent.
- Supreme Court justices, who are appointed for life, are nominated by the president. The Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings and has the opportunity to ask the nominees about their legal perspectives and experiences. After an affirmative vote by the 18-member committee, the entire Senate holds a vote to confirm or reject the nominee.
- Teachers may want to discuss recent Supreme Court nominations to illustrate the nomination process.
A lesson about the process of confirming a Supreme Court justice is available at:
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer