From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
What does a president do: he nominates a candidate and Senate appoints him/her, or does the president appoint directly?--Paul Wormer 16:57, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
- Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution says that the president "shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint" officials. So I guess the answer to your question is: both. The president alone "nominates," and then the president and the Senate cooperatively "appoint." I don't know, though, whether the president has to sign a second piece of paper to make the "appointment" final, or whether it just automatically happens when the Senate votes to confirm the nominee. Bruce M.Tindall 17:22, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
- The usual language is that the President appoints with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. Advice and consent is an semi-archaic name for the confirmation process; since it involves committee hearings to start, the informal advice, sometimes early in the process, can be to withdraw a nominee who won't be confirmed.
- There's no formal second approval for the appointment, although there are usually a flurry of executive orders giving specific delegated authorities in the particular administration. Things are slightly different for military officer promotions; they can be "frocked" by their chain of command and immediately start wearing the insignia and effectively having the authority, although not the pay, of the higher rank. If the Senate won't confirm, stars have to come off.
- In the case of most civilian appointments, the nominee is not already in the agency and won't be exercising any authority until confirmed. Gates, as the existing Secretary of Defense, is an obvious exception, and there are cases where deputies are acting after the previous top officer leaves, but then they themselves are confirmed for the top job. In some agencies, certain positions requiring Senate confirmation still traditionally go to career professionals, such as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (#3 in the Department of State). That individual is often the caretaker when the two top officials haven't been named. There are also cases where, in a running administration, the next-ranking-by-protocol becomes the acting cabinet officer after multiple resignations, as with the "Saturday Night Massacre" under Nixon. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:50, 28 January 2009 (UTC)