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Executive Nominations and Confirmations

The Senate Judiciary Committee is responsible for conducting hearings on nominations to fill executive positions within the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce, the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the United States Parole Commission, United States Sentencing Commission.  Following confirmation hearings during which nominees are asked questions by the members of the Committee, a nomination is listed for consideration by the Judiciary Committee during an Executive Business Meeting.  If a majority of the Committee orders an executive nomination to be reported to the full Senate for consideration, the nomination is placed on the Executive Calendar.  If a majority of the Senate votes in favor of an executive nomination, the President is notified and the nomination is confirmed.

Executive nominations that are considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee include:

  • Department of Justice
    • Deputy Attorney General
      James Cole (Confirmed on June 28, 2011)
    • Administrator and Deputy Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration
      Michele Marie Leonhart, Administrator (Confirmed on December 22, 2010)
      Thomas M. Harrigan, Deputy Administrator (Confirmed on March 29, 2012)
    • Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
    • Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Andrew L. Traver
    • Director, Bureau of Justice Statistics, James P. Lynch (Confirmed on June 22, 2010)
    • Director, Community Relations Service (four-year term), Grande Lum
    • Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation (10-year term), Robert S. Mueller, III (Confirmed on July 27, 2011)
    • Director, National Institute of Justice, John H. Laub (Confirmed on June 22, 2010)
    • Director, Office for Victims of Crime
    • Director, Office on Violence Against Women, Susan B. Carbon (Confirmed on February 11, 2010)
    • Special Counsel, Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (four-year term)
  • Department of Homeland Security
    • Assistant Secretary, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Morton (Confirmed on May 12, 2009)
    • Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Alejandro Mayorkas (Confirmed on August 7, 2009)

  • Department of Commerce
    • Under Secretary, Intellectual Property/Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, David J. Kappos (Confirmed on August 7, 2009)

  • Executive Office of the President
  • Foreign Claims Settlement Commission
    • Chair (full-time, three-year term, nominated from among Commissioner members)
      Timothy J. Feighery (Confirmed on March 10, 2011)
    • Members (part-time, three positions, three-year term)
      Anuj Chang Desai (Confirmed on March 29, 2012)

  • Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • United States Parole Commission
    • Members (five positions, six-year term)
      Cranston Mitchell, Commissioner, (Confirmed on August 7, 2009)
      J. Patricia Wilson Smoot, Commissioner (Confirmed on September 16, 2010)
      Charles T. Massarone, Commissioner

  • United States Sentencing Commission
    • Chair (full-time, six-year term, nominated from among Commission members)
      Patti B. Saris (Confirmed on December 22, 2010)
    • Vice Chair (full-time, three positions, six-year term, designated from among Commission members)
      William B. Carr, Jr. (Confirmed on November 20, 2008)
      Ketanji Brown Jackson (Confirmed on February 11, 2010)
    • Commissioners (part-time, seven positions, six-year term)
      Ricardo H. Hinojosa (Confirmed on November 20, 2008)
      Beryl A. Howell (Confirmed on February 28, 2007)
      Dabney L. Friedrich (Confirmed on December 22, 2010)
      Charles R. Breyer

  • State Justice Institute, Board of Directors
    • Members (part-time, 11 positions, three-year term)
      Chase T. Rogers (Confirmed on December 22, 2010)
      Gayle A. Nachtigal (Confirmed on June 22, 2010)
      Wilfredo Martinez (Confirmed on December 22, 2010)
      Isabel Framer (Confirmed on December 22, 2010)
      Hernan D. Vera (Confirmed on June 22, 2010)
      David W. Brewer (Confirmed on August 2, 2011)
      James R. Hannah (Confirmed on March 29, 2012)
      Daniel J. Becker (Confirmed on March 29, 2012)

  • Administrative Conference of the United States
  • Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
    • Members (five positions)
      Elisebeth C. Cook (Confirmed on August 2, 2012)
      James X. Dempsey (Confirmed on August 2, 2012)
      Rachel L. Brand (Confirmed on August 2, 2012)
      David Medine
      Patricia M. Wald
      (Confirmed on August 2, 2012)

Did You Know?  Harlan Fiske Stone was the first Supreme Court nominee to testify at a Supreme Court confirmation hearing in 1925.  John Harlan was only the fourth nominee to testify (1955).  Harlan's 1955 confirmation marked the beginning of the current practice of each Supreme Court nominee testifying before the Judiciary Committee.

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