美国尚待确认的人质

丹佛—去年迎来225岁生日的美国宪法是一份举世瞩目的文件:这份写于18世纪的文档在21世纪仍在指导治国。在未来几周,我们将再次听到它的影响——奥巴马将任命其第二任期的政府官员。在很多方面,这一过程不会漂亮。

宪法第二条规定了总统权力,该权力——包括任命政府高官——须有“参议院的意见和同意”。或许225年前不会有人想到需要参议院确认的官员人数最后会超过1 400人,也不会想到参议院的审核过程会常常需要多年才能完成。

事实上,很多人认为参议院的确认程序被破坏了。他们只消提一下提名美国驻联合国大使苏珊·赖斯(Susan Rice)继希拉里·克林顿之任为国务卿的失败尝试,或令人痛心疾首的提名前参议员查克·哈格尔(Chuck Hagel)为国防部长。

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