Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), who voted against cloture on Justice Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 2006, stated that the Constitution says the Senate “shall advise and consent” on Supreme Court picks on Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”
Leahy said, “[T]he rule they’ve always followed is the one that Senator [Orrin] Hatch (R-UT) and I gave in a letter, which the Republican leader put in the Congressional Record saying that we shall have hearings and votes on such nominees. … Come on, stop the nonsense, stop the games. Let’s start following the Constitution. The Constitution says the president ‘shall nominate‘. The Constitution says we shall advise and consent.”
Article II, Section II, Clause II says that the president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.”
The phrase “shall advise and consent” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution.
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