Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics/Can the President sue Congress?


Hi there, I have a question regarding the fight to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court. If an elected official refuses to do a task required under the constitution, can he be removed/impeached? For example... if the President nominates a candidate (which he says he will) for the Senate Judiciary Comittee to consider, and they refuse to do so (which some have said they may do) - is there a mechanism for the president, or anyone, to remove an offical for refusing to undertake a constitutional requirement. Can the Office of the President (through the White House Cousel, Attorney General, Solicitor General, or Justice Department) sue the Office of the Senate Leader or the Leader himself for not fulfilling that constitutional duties of considering a President's nominee? Is there a prescedent for that? Has a President ever sued Congress, or a member of Congress, or could he? And it two lower courts differed on their verdicts could the Supreme Court ever take that case?

Thank you in advance... James


There are some who say the US government is divided into three co-equal branches: Congress, the President, and the Courts.  But the truth is the three branches are not equal.  Congress was always meant to be the most powerful branch.  Members of the Executive Branch, including the President, may be removed by Congress through impeachment.  Judges may also be removed by impeachment.  But members of Congress may only be removed from office by Congress itself.  If the President or the Courts attempted to force Congress to act, or to remove members, it would likely create a Constitutional crisis the likes of which this country has never seen.

The President may appoint a new Justice without Congress in what is called a recess appointment.  An appointment while the Senate is in recess does not require consent.  However, a recess appointment can only serve for one year.

- Mike

Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question about U.S. Political history, Constitutional law, the legislative process, elections, etc. I enjoy Presidential and Congressional historical trivia, but can answer more substantive questions too.


Former Staff member for a Congressman and Senator. I also worked on about 10 Congressional and Presidential campaigns (only one that won). For a short time, I worked in the legal department of the Federal Election Commission.    I have a B.A. in Political Science.

Former LBJ Fellow (paid fellowship for Congressional Staff).
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary Society).

Washington Post
Washington Times

J.D. University of Michigan
B.A. George Washington University (Poli. Sci. major).

Awards and Honors
LBJ Fellow
Truman Scholar

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