History of Appointments to the Supreme Court

Headnotes: 

The memorandum which follows, prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel at the request of the Attorney General, surveys four general aspects of the process of appointing Justices of the Supreme Court: (1) the qualities Presidents have sought in Supreme Court nominees; (2) the process of recruiting and evaluating potential appointees prior to nomination; (3) the manner in which the Senate fulfills its responsibilities in the appointment process; and (4) the relationship between the process of choosing a candidate and a successful candidate’s eventual performance on the Court.  The memorandum pays special attention to the roles played in the appointment process by the Attorney General and the Department of Justice.

Updated July 9, 2014