Step 1: A Judicial Vacancy is Announced
A judicial vacancy occurs when a judge takes senior status, retires, resigns, or passes
away, or Congress creates a new judgeship.
Step 2: Home-State Senator Judicial Selection
For U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. District Court nominees, Senators establish
processes to select potential nominees for vacancies in their states. Many use meritbased judicial selection commissions to seek community input and recommend potential
nominees to the White House who represent the values and needs of their constituents.
Step 3: President Nominates Nominees
The President nominates individuals to fill vacancies after consulting with the homestate Senators and conducting their own reviews of candidates.
Step 3: ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary Rates Nominees
The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary provides
an independent review of nominees’ professional qualifications in terms of integrity,
competence, and temperament. This evaluation is based on anonymous interviews with the nominees’ peers.
Most Administrations allow this review to be simultaneous with the White House’s
Step 4: Home-State Senators Submit Blue Slips
Senators submit “blue slips,” literal blue paper, to the Senate Judiciary Committee
signaling support for or opposition to nominees from their state.
According to longstanding tradition, the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee only
schedules hearings for nominees who have support from both of their home-state
Step 5: Senate Judiciary Committee Evaluates Nominees
A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing provides Committee members a public forum to
question nominees. Committee members can also ask additional questions in writing,
which the nominees must answer.Step 6: Senate Judiciary Committee Reports Nominees
The Senate Judiciary Committee holds an Executive Business Meeting to report nominees
favorably, unfavorably, or without recommendation to the full Senate for a floor vote. On
rare occasions, the Senate Judiciary Committee can vote to reject nominees.
Step 7: Full Senate Votes on Nominees
The full Senate then considers nominees. The Senate can take up nominees for consideration
by unanimous consent and arrange for them to receive up-or-down confirmation votes
or be confirmed by unanimous consent.
Often there is extended debate on a nominee. When that happens, usually a cloture vote
is taken, which limits the amount of time Senators can debate the nomination. Once
debate has concluded, the Senate holds a final up-or-down vote on the nomination. If
the nominee receives a majority of yes votes, she or he has been confirmed by the Senate.
Step 8: Nominees Become Lifetime Judges
Once a nominee is confirmed by the Senate, she or he receives a Commission, which is
the official document empowering the nominee to assume judicial office. The Oath of
Office must then be administered, typically the Chief Judge of the Court, another judge
on the Court, or a home-state Senator. The final step is investiture, a ceremonial event
where the new judge is sworn in in the courtroom
Explanation: Sorry if long bc i did it before