The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Federal Judicial Nomination Process
Learn the basics about federal judicial nominations and why the individuals charged with dispensing justice in our society have a direct impact on civil rights and other protections for all.
The Judicial Nomination Process
- When there is an open judicial position, the president nominates someone to the position. Usually he discusses the nomination with key senators before announcing his choice.
- The nomination is sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The Judiciary Committee collects information about the nominee, including a background check by the FBI, and reviews the nominee's record and qualifications.
- The Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the nominee. Witnesses speak both in favor and against the nomination. Senators ask questions of the nominee.
- The Judiciary Committee votes on the nomination, and then makes a recommendation to the full Senate, that the nominee either be confirmed, rejected, or that they do not have a recommendation. Sometimes they decline to send a nominee to the Senate at all.
- The full Senate debates the nomination.
- A vote of 3/5 of the Senate (60 senators) is required to end debate. This is called a cloture vote. If enough senators wish to delay a vote on a nominee, they can filibuster by not voting to end debate.
- When debate ends, the Senate votes on the nomination. Confirmation requires a simple majority of the senators present and voting.
Current Judicial Vacancies
- Vacancies in the Federal Judiciary - USCourts.gov
More on the Nomination Process
- Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary Committee, and Senate (pdf) - Congressional Research Service - 7/6/05
- Answering the Call for a More Diverse Judiciary: A Review of State Judicial Selection (pdf) - Report - Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law - 6/21/05
LCCR Resources on Past Nominations
- Supreme Court Nominees
- Federal Court Nominees Under Bush
- Video Ad Against Extremist Judges - Save Our Courts (2004)
Additional Resources on Judicial Nominations
- Supreme Court Nominations, present-1789 - Senate.gov
- Transcripts of Nomination Hearings for Supreme Court Justices - Senate.gov
- List of Judicial Nominations in the 110th Congress - Department of Justice
- Biographies of Federal Judges (1789-present) - Federal Judicial Center
- The Crucial Importance of the Ninth Circuit - LCCR - Fact Sheet - 4/14/03
- Justice For All: The Importance of a Fair and Balanced Judiciary to the GLBT Community - Report - Human Rights Campaign Foundation - 9/29/04
- Ten Principles for Preserving Courts' Role in American Democracy (pdf) - Fact Sheet - The Constitution Project - 5/9/06