121

The situation is fairly complex so I'm not surprised it was confusing. Here's the general rundown (partially pulled from this article for brevity) Sometime in July, Ford (Kavanaugh's accuser) wrote a letter to Diane Feinstein (D-CA) with her allegation that Kavanaugh had assaulted her sometime around 1982. The letter purportedly requested anonymity and ...


79

A better way to look at this question is to ask why Democrats do have such an expansive superdelegate system (Republicans kiiiiiiiiind of have superdelegates, but far less and bound to the results of state primaries). In 1968, the Democratic Party's primary system was exposed as more or less a farce. Due to a lot of unforeseen circumstances-- such as ...


68

I'm not sure what the standard for evidence is (i.e. for references) on this site. If you want to know, here's what I inferred from following the Twitters of a couple of (anti-Trump) American lawyers. The weren't "sexual assault hearings", they were "senate confirmation hearings" Senate procedure has previously (since 2013 and 2017, as explained in detail ...


56

In short: separation of (coequal) powers means the President can't order any such thing of Congress. Congress does as it wills, and the constitution has very little to say about whether it does its jobs in any particular time frame, or even in any particular way. Article 2, Section 3 of the constitution details the two things a President can force Congress ...


49

No, Trump is not the official nominee until the Republican National Convention says so. A number of things could go wrong (or right, depending on your politics) to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the Republican party presidential candidate. The first thing to realize is the rules for "pledged" delegates vary by state. In the Republican Party system ...


49

It's worth noting that Obama actually did attempt an end-run around Congress in declaring that pro-forma Senate sessions were, in fact, a "recess" as defined by the Constitution. As such, he made some "recess" appointments to the NLRB. The Supreme Court, 9-0, ruled in NLRB v. Noel Canning that it was unconstitutional for him to do that. We hold that, for ...


21

Even though it is "probable" even above the 99% level, he is still not officially nominated by the Republican convention. Even after he has 1,237 delegates committed to vote for him (no matter which ballot), that would only make him the presumptive nominee. That is, we assume that he will become the nominee, but he has not yet become so. Google "Republican ...


20

Weakening of the Filibuster was one of the primary reasons this moved faster than previously possible. This weakening of the filibuster began in 2013, by then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid justified his action by saying: "The American people believe Congress is broken. The American people believe the Senate is broken. And I believe ...


15

Each House in Congress can arrange its own affairs: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings ... So "How" and "When" the Senate chooses to give or withhold its consent is a matter for the Senate to decide. In the case of Garland, the Senate did not consent to his appointment. The President can't force the Senate to discuss a particular ...


15

Here is a "Tick Tock"-style article about the end of the nomination and the vote. (This link is to the NY Times, but it's an AP article and available elsewhere, too.) It covers what happened when, but it boils down to: Committee votes to pass Kavanaugh, with the condition that the FBI do an investigation. White House authorizes a one-week investigation. (...


14

Absolutely, it happens all the time. An incumbent losing to a challenger in their own party's primary election is sometimes called "getting primaried". Search for "getting primaried" or "primaried out", you can find lots of articles and books: Getting Primaried, The Changing Politics of Congressional Primary Challenges by Robert G. Boatright We unlucky ...


13

If this is because of the Republicans' majority then can we assume Democrats have no power to oppose any nomination or any bill also in the next 4 years? No. First, Supreme Court nominations and bills require sixty votes in the Senate. So Democrats have direct influence on those, at least until they frustrate Republicans to the point of changing those ...


12

The senate could reject all candidates that a president nominated, but that would be an extreme case of partisanship. As far as the effects of such actions, the executive appointments would cause agencies to have a lack of leadership, but the staff are all government employees that run the day to day anyway and would likely continue the status quo unless ...


12

The FEC is meant to be a bipartisan body, meaning there should be an equal number of Democrats as Republicans. It is therefore customary for the President to work with the opposite party to ensure that this bipartisanship is maintained. The last few appointments to the FEC have been in pairs, with one Democrat and one Republican being confirmed at roughly ...


11

Essentially, the Republicans had decided they were going to confirm Kavanaugh and do it fast in order for him to be on the bench for an October case. At that point, the hearings lasted only long enough to get enough people on board. Supreme Court justices are, by the Constitution, nominated by the President and confirmed or not by the Senate. There are ...


10

What if next year we have a republican president, the senate democrats decide to play the same hand, and refuse to confirm a supreme court nominee for the next four years? If you can delay for a year, who's to say you can't delay for four? Absolutely nothing in law. In practice, the Republicans currently have a stronger hand than Democrats would with a ...


10

It actually took about a week longer than it could have. After the September 27 hearing with Dr. Ford and Hon. Kavanaugh testifying about the alleged sexual assult in high school, the Judiciary Committee was most ready to vote and move this forward to the full Senate. The expectation was that this would divide mostly along party lines, and Kavanaugh would ...


9

The Senate did not "refuse to follow the constitution". They acted entirely within it. The idea of the Senate not voting on judicial nominees already has precedent. During Bush 43's presidency, Democrats refused hearings on 11 judicial nominees for almost two whole years. When Republicans took control of Congress in the 2003 midterms, Democrats began ...


8

4 points here: As you state, SCOTUS is the most important court. Rulings made by Kavanaugh at his current position may set precedents in case law, but they (no matter how important is his current position) could be reverted by SCOTUS. Kavanaugh rulings as SCOTUS justice could not reverted by a superior court. So his influence as a SCOTUS member would be way ...


8

The explanations so far tend to gloss over one important detail: Dr Ford first contacted Senator Feinstein in mid July. Yet, Feinstein, a senior Democrat Senator, took no action. A credible and provable allegation would have stopped the Kavanaugh hearing, which was the goal of the Democrats in the Senate, so Feinstein's inaction sticks out as quite ...


8

Republicans do have a superdelegate system, except that only 7% of the Republican nominating delegation. The current system makes superdelegates nominate the primary candidate who won their state and yes, there is a lot of talk about changing the Republican Nomination System. This all started when Beau Correll Jr., an attorney from Virginia filed a lawsuit ...


7

He is not the official nominee of the Republican party until the National Convention has met and has officially elected him. However, considering that he will likely run unopposed, this is basically just a formality. Expect the RNC to become a big PR event for him. The only interesting question which will likely be answered there is who his running mate ...


7

I'm not aware of particular proposals that have a lot of legs, but in one 2012 poll Just one in eight Americans said the justices decided cases based only on legal analysis. [...] The public is skeptical about life tenure for the justices, with 60 percent agreeing with the statement that “appointing Supreme Court justices for life is a bad thing ...


6

Jeff Sessions nomination for Federal Judge AG. Does it mean Democrats have no power? Yes. As my hero said famously, elections have consequences. But seriously, they are not without power, but just not very influential. hopefully they are do better next time. Just how democracy works.


5

Theoretically speaking, all Cabinet nominees can be rejected by the Senate as there is no law that limits the number of Cabinet nominees the Senate can reject. But, it is very rare that nominations for Cabinet positions are rejected by the Senate for the following reasons: Other Cabinet positions except for Secretary of State who will be the fourth in the ...


5

Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: The president has the power to appoint judges, but only the Senate can confirm them. The senate has in the past sat on nominations for extended periods, although not for the Supreme Court justice. There is no requirement in Article I of the Constitution that the Senate confirm, or even take up a President's nomination. ...


5

If the GOP lose the Senate this election, will they still have enough power to block Supreme Court Justice nominations? No. With a Senate majority, the Democrats can change the rules to allow a simple majority to carry a cloture vote and end a filibuster. And they have said that if Republicans filibuster a candidate for what they consider to be ...


5

In theory (if they have votes, which as Martin's answer notes, they may not necessarily have), they can. In practice, they have to worry about the politics (specifically, optics) of the thing, and how it will affect voter sentiment and therefore subsequent elections, both 2018 midterms as well as 2020 and on. If they force the vote, and they have enough ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible