Explain how the nomination and appointment of federal judges differs from Supreme Court Justices. As well, explain how does the selection and length of terms differs between Supreme Court Justices and members of Congress.

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  • There is no particular difference between the nomination of federal judges and Supreme Court Justices. The Constitution gives the power of nomination to the President, and the appointment to the Senate. In practice, the President will consult with a representative of the state that a federal vacancy appears in, and submit that state's nomination to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee then reviews the nominee, and the FBI conducts a background check. The committee submits its recommendation to the Senate, and the Senate votes on the nomination. The only real difference between a federal judge nomination and a Justice is that, in the case of the Justice, there is no single state to consult, but several.
  • Members of the United States Congress represent specific regions, and are elected by a popular vote among the voting citizens in that region. Members of the Congress represent portions of a state, whereas Senators represent the entire state. Both Senators and Representatives are limited to two-year terms, but they may be elected to an unlimited number of terms. 
  • Supreme Court Justices are not determined by a popular vote. Instead, they are nominated by the President, and the Senate then votes whether or not to confirm or reject the nomination. There are no term limits, or terms, for a Justice; they are allowed to serve indefinitely under "good behavior", but they may be impeached and removed if reason is found. In practice, appointees to the Supreme Court usually serve until death or retirement.
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