Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Ending the Stalemate

With the judicial confirmation stalemate reaching the point where few see resolution, John Eastman offers a possible solution. He argues on The Claremont Institute web site that while art. II, sec. 2 of the Constitution requires Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Justices, it nonetheless permits Congress as a whole to vest the appointment of inferior officers in the President. Thus, he argues, Congress could pass a law which would give the President the power to appoint district and circuit court judges after say, six months of inaction by the Senate.

Such a bill would no doubt die in the Senate, which would be none too thrilled about giving up this power. But the more interesting quesion is whether art. III judges are "inferior" officers pursuant, say, to their designation as "inferior" courts in art. III.

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