President Bush has said that the current process for
confirming federal appellate and district court judges is too partisan and has broken down, echoing
a critique raised by most contemporary Presidents. In late 2002, Bush proposed a series of changes
to the system that, he argues, would accelerate the process by setting timetables for action and
guaranteeing a Senate vote on each nominee. The proposal raises questions about the traditional
powers of the Senate and its constitutional role in offering "advice and consent" on the dozens of
nominations submitted each year for the third branch of government, the judiciary. This report will
be updated as events warrant.