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 ?
I ask that the Senate provide its advice and consent, and my Administration stands ready to brief and assist you in your deliberations.
authoritatively define the original meaning of advice and consent.
I again urge this Committee to act swiftly to recommend that the Senate provide its advice and consent on the NATO Accession Protocols that will welcome our new allies into our Alliance.
Consequently, the committee was fully satisfied by the commitment of the President, delivered by the Secretary of State, that he would consider the admission of a new member to the pact as the conclusion of a new treaty with that member and would seek the advice and consent of the Senate to each such admission.
How, then, ought the Senate go about its job of providing advice and consent? Tribe offers as initial topics for review a nominee's intellect, integrity, and legal skill.
Judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governors Council.
At a time when many complain that the executive has too much power, the Senate is deliberately weakening itself when we undermine our advice and consent role.
However, issues that have come to light through public reporting underscore the importance of the Senates constitutional responsibility to offer advice and consent before high-level executive administrators assume office.
Your appointment runs the serious risk of circumventing the Senates constitutional advice and consent responsibility for the position to which you have been nominated.
I believe that this decision by the Governor will allow the Senate to be more deliberative as we exercise our advice and consent responsibilities.
I am pleased to submit their names to the Governors Council for their advice and consent.