Real World Graduation, Question 84: Cabinet Nominations

RealWorldGraduation_Question_84_Cabinet_Nominations   <– PDF

Article 2, Section 2 of the U. S. Constitution states, regarding the office of the President:

“He shall have power, by and with the consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he 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, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may by law vest the appointments of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in courts of law, or in heads of departments.”

The President’s Cabinet members fall under the category of “officers of the United States”, and require confirmation by the Senate.  A member of the U. S. Senate once voted against the creation of a federal Department of Education (although it passed).  But now, many years later, he has been nominated by the President to be the Secretary (head) of the Department of Education.  On what grounds should the Senate confirm or not confirm him?

a) His original opposition to the creation of any federal Department proves that he cannot be trusted to lead any department. Therefore the Senate should not confirm him.

b) The Senate should not confirm him. The fact that he voted against the creation of the Department proves he is opposed to education, so schools will get worse under his “leadership”.

c) The Senate should not confirm him. If he voted against the creation of the Department, then it is likely that he has contempt for teachers, teachers unions, Department of Education workers, and children in general.  Such a person would not command respect within the department.

d) The Senate should confirm him only in the interest of getting him out of the Senate. True, his original vote proves he is unqualified, but he will do less harm overall as a member of the bureaucracy than as a member of the Senate.

e) The Senate should confirm him only if he promises not to change current policy and promises to recuse himself from budget debates; that way, his biases against education will have no practical effect.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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