Why did the Founding Fathers create a system of appointing judges that required cooperation between the President and the Senate?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Founding Fathers created a system requiring judges appointed by the President to be confirmed by the Senate. This was done to prevent any branch of government from becoming too powerful.

There was a real concern when the Constitution was being written about individuals in the government or the government as a whole having too much power. This was part of the reason colonists fought for independence from Great Britain. To try to prevent this from occurring in the United States, the Founding Fathers created the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances.

The separation of powers idea refers to giving each branch of government different jobs so no branch can do everything on its own. The system of checks and balances allows each branch to limit the power of the other branches. One way the legislative branch can limit the power of the executive branch is through mandatory Senate approval of the Presidents' judge appointments. This is happening at this moment with the Supreme Court. The President made an appointment, but that appointment won’t go into effect until the candidate is approved by the Senate.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The reason that the Framers did this was because they did not want any one part of the government having too much power.  This is the basic reason behind all of the checks and balances that appear in the US governmental system.

The Framers wanted to be sure that both the legislative and the executive branches would have some sort of check on the judiciary.  In addition, they wanted the legislative to check the executive.  Having the president and the Senate have to cooperate accomplishes all of these goals.  It allows both the executive and the legislative branches to have some control over the judiciary by selecting its members.  It allows the legislative branch to check the executive by getting to approve or reject appointees.

In this way, various branches check one another and it is less possible for any one branch to get too much power.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial