Here’s what you should know.

Others say the call for a one-week FBI investigation is just a stall tactic for Republicans to secure the necessary 51 votes in the United States Senate to confirm him. Whatever is the case, the separation of powers dictates that the president, not Congress, must order the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh.

Why FBI Didn't Release Brett Kavanaugh Background Check Info | Law & Crime

However, if the president failed to do so, his nominee for the Supreme Court would most certainly not be confirmed. Prior to nominating an individual to a judicial or executive office, the White House orders the FBI to conduct a confidential background investigation.

In addition to reviewing employment, financial, academic and other public records, the agency may also interview current and former co-workers, roommates, neighbors, professors and family members. The White House then provides FBI background investigation files to the Senate, which may be used when determining whether to confirm a nominee.

Given that the constitutional power of advice and consent is given exclusively to the Senate, its members are free to decide what to do with any information the FBI provides.

Senate committee passes universal background check

Rather, it had to ask the White House to do so on its behalf. In relaunching its background check, the FBI will again play an investigatory role.

How the FBI will investigate the allegations against Kavanaugh

Agents may interview Kavanaugh, his accusers and any witnesses to the alleged incidents. The Senate Judiciary Committee votes: Following the hearing and answers to any written questions that have been submitted, a committee vote is scheduled. This is a now-routine, but unnecessary, slow down in the process. Once a nominee is voted favorably out of committee, with a majority vote, the nomination can be forwarded to the Senate floor for consideration by the entire Senate. Senate majority leader schedules a full vote in the U.


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Senate: The Senate majority leader must schedule the floor vote on a nominee. As a result, senators in the minority can block the prompt scheduling of a full Senate vote, which can postpone the nomination almost indefinitely. Without unanimous consent, there is an effective filibuster of a nominee, and the majority leader can only force a confirmation vote by filing cloture. Cloture is a time-consuming process that could consume days for each nomination.


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It also requires a supermajority of 60 votes to end debate and proceed to a confirmation vote. The Senate votes to confirm a nominee: When the Senate votes on confirmation — scheduled either by unanimous consent or through successfully invoking cloture — nominees are confirmed by a simple majority of senators.

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However, as noted above, cloture is only successful with a supermajority of 60 votes, and therefore there may be an effectively higher threshold than the simply majority on final confirmation. Throughout the process, senators can slow or block progress by: failing to initiate or participate in a candidate recommendation process, refusing to return blue slips, delaying the Senate Judiciary Committee vote, postponing or obstructing a full vote in the Senate, or filibustering a nominee and requiring a supermajority of 60 votes to proceed.

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Despite these roadblocks, the good news is that advocates especially as constituents have several places in the process to be involved in significant ways. What follows is a description of each step in the process, highlighting when advocates can engage. A vacancy occurs: Federal court appointments are for life, so it is up to each judge to decide when to step down. Judges often give advance notice of up to one year before they plan to leave a federal district court or circuit court of appeals.

New reporting details how FBI limited investigation of Kavanaugh allegations

When a seat on a federal court remains empty, Americans who rely on that court to resolve business disputes, Social Security claims and constitutional challenges are denied timely access to justice. The selection process can be slowed if home state senators fail to timely recommend a candidate to the president or delay in engaging with the White House in its consultation. Once a candidate successfully completes the White House vetting, the president formally nominates the candidate.

Blue slips, letters printed on light blue paper, are used by the Committee to ask home state senators to approve Committee consideration of a nominee who would serve in their state. In recent years, blue slip approval from a home state senator has been a de facto requirement to move forward with a candidate. Because of this, home state senators have the power, once again, to hold up the process by failing to return the blue slip or failing to do so in a timely manner — often without explanation.