Nominations for Prospective Vacancies on the Supreme Court
Under Article II, § 2, cl. 2 of the Constitution, the appointment process for judges consists of three steps: nomination by the President, advice and consent of the Senate, and appointment by the President. A President may nominate, and the Senate may confirm, a person to an office in anticipation that the office will be vacant during the President’s term of office. Confirmation without appointment does not confer any rights on the nominee; the President remains free to decide that he does not want to appoint a confirmed nominee. When the anticipated vacancy does not arise, no appointment of the confirmed nominee is possible.