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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:02 PM

Why Do Cabinet Officers Require Confirmation?

Yeah, I know. The whole constitutional thingy.

But the constitution says that Congress may "by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone" which to my reading seems that Congress could simply allow the President to appoint his cabinet without voting on it. The Senate has rejected only nine cabinet officers in the past 200+ years -- and I'm sure some of those were just political hit jobs that had nothing to do with the candidates' actual credentials.

It seems to me (and this is all related to John McCain's "I won't support anyone for Secretary of State" comments) that if this is all just an exercise in Beltway Kabuki Theater, then we should just eliminate the confirmation of cabinet officers altogether. If a President appoints unqualified people to the job, we'll know soon enough and he or she will reap the consequences.

I can understand vetting and approval of Supreme Court Justices, as they're on the bench for life. But cabinet officers are typically only there for no more than eight years and usually less.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Do Cabinet Officers Require Confirmation? (Original post)
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 OP
PoliticAverse Nov 2012 #1
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #6
former9thward Nov 2012 #2
lastlib Nov 2012 #3
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #5
EC Nov 2012 #4

Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:09 PM

1. Good luck getting Congress to give away a power they have to the President. n/t

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:44 PM

6. Well, yeah. That's that (nt)

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:47 PM

2. You would have to change the Constitution.

When the Constitution says "inferior officers" it presumes that there are "superior officers" which the Senate must give consent. If Cabinet officers are not the superior officers then who would be?

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:17 PM

3. Article 2, Section 2:

"...he (the President) shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States..."

Cabinet officers are Officers of the United States.

That's why.

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Response to lastlib (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:44 PM

5. Congress has the authority to allow the President the ability to appoint his cabinet

without going through "advise and consent."

Seems a waste of time to go through what is basically an exercise in political posturing.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:35 PM

4. I'd just like to know

what McCain would like to do about the SOS position then...just eliminate it? If he won't approve of anyone, does he think Hillary will just stay there or what?

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