Date: June 10, 1931
Location: New York, NY
Summary: Calvin Coolidge writes that while the President can consult with Senators and others on whom to appoint to various positions, the power to appoint individuals belongs to the President and the Senate confirms the appointment.
(Original document available here)
A long standing problem sometimes growing into the proportions of a dispute between the President and the Senate exist over the making of appointments. Individual Senators, Representatives and other public officers and members of political committees often claim the right to make a choice of whom the President shall appoint.
No President is likely to have sufficient knowledge of conditions and persons so that he can make the thousands of appointments required without the help and advice of others. Naturally he asks Senators and Representatives to help about selections in their states and districts. But there are other sources of information and the responsibility for nominating is with the President. Any mistake will be charged to him.
The correct procedure is to observe the Constitution, the law and the facts. The appointing power is in the President. The confirming power is in the Senate. Let him consult the Senators in the usual way about proposed appointments, and little difficulty will arise. No President can surrender the all-important appointing power. No Senator or Representative wants to be ignored. Like many other seeming difficulties, it will be resolved by everybody patiently doing what the Constitution directs.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Fr. Stephen Lawson who prepared this document for digital publication.