Advice and Consent

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Advice and Consent

The authority given by the U.S. Constitution to the Senate to ratify treaties and confirm presidential cabinet, ambassadorial, and judicial appointments.

Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution gives the president the right to negotiate foreign treaties and to nominate individuals to high-ranking government positions, including cabinet members, ambassadors, and federal judges. However, these powers are conditioned upon the advice and consent of the Senate. Section 2 requires the Senate to approve treaties by a two thirds majority, while presidential appointments require a simple majority. The advice and consent requirement is an example of one of the checks and balances built into the Constitution. The provision seeks to limit presidential power.

The Senate has used the treaty ratification authority to extract changes in negotiated treaties and, in some cases, to reject an international agreement. The most famous rejection involved President woodrow wilson's desire to have the United States join the newly created League of Nations after World War I. The Senate, hostile to the concept of international government, refused to ratify the treaty in 1919, which severely weakened the organization. In contrast, the Senate ratified the United Nations charter in 1945.

The advice and consent power has drawn the most public attention when the Senate has rejected presidential nominations to the cabinet and to federal judgeships. The Senate voted down the 1987 Supreme Court nomination of robert bork by President ronald reagan, leading to charges that the Senate had politicized the confirmation process. Clarence Thomas was confirmed as Supreme Court justice in 1991, but only after a bruising confirmation struggle that was nationally televised. In 2002, the Senate rejected several judicial nominations by President george w. bush, again leading to charges of partisan politics.

References in periodicals archive ?
Indeed, many people believe that the Senate confirmation process is broken.
If confirmed, Kagan would be the first successful nominee in recent years whose nomination was backed by less than a majority of Americans in the final poll before the Senate confirmation vote (or, in the case of Harriet Miers, before her nomination was withdrawn).
In addition, he called the recess appointment maneuver an evasion of the Senate confirmation process.
He did not come up for Senate confirmation until May of this year.
The Obama administration has named officials to several top health care-related positions that do not require Senate confirmation, including the administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration and the new National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
The Obama administration has named officials to several top health care-related positions that do not require Senate confirmation, including the administrator of the Health Re-' sources and Services Administration and the new National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
John Holdren, President Obama's designated Science Advisor and head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), had his Senate Confirmation Hearing February 12.
Both nominations are subject to Senate confirmation.
Deputy Secretary Azar served as the HHS department's general counsel from 2001 to 2005, with his original Senate confirmation to the Assistant Secretary post on July 22 of 2005.
At the outset of his Senate confirmation hearing to replace Donald H Rumsfeld, Gates said he is open to new ideas about correcting the US course in Iraq - his highest priority if confirmed as expected.
Wynne spoke for about two hours to a diverse student body consisting of government civilian, military, and private industry students, and passed on his personal philosophy, his recent experiences undergoing Senate confirmation and his outlook on assuming his new post as secretary of the Air Force.
WASHINGTON -- Rob Portman won Senate confirmation as director of the White House budget office Friday, moving over from his post as U.
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