Le parcours du combattant des candidats à l’administration américaine

DENVER – La Constitution des États-Unis, dont on a célébré le 225e anniversaire l’été dernier, est un document tout à fait remarquable : les dispositions mentionnées dans ce texte rédigé au XVIIIe siècle continuent de guider le régime que nous connaissons aujourd’hui. Nous aurons l’occasion de nous le voir rappeler dans les prochaines semaines, lorsque le président Barack Obama octroiera un certain nombre de postes de hauts responsables dans le cadre de sa seconde administration. Cette procédure nous promet un spectacle laborieux à bien des égards.

L’Article II de la Constitution énumère les pouvoirs présidentiels qui nécessitent l’ « avis et le consentement du Sénat, » parmi lesquels la nomination des hauts fonctionnaires. Nul n’aurait pu imaginer, il y a 225 ans, que le nombre de fonctionnaires soumis à la nécessaire approbation du Sénat dépasserait les 1 400, ou que cette confirmation du Sénat consisterait en un processus d’examen nécessitant bien souvent plusieurs années.

De nombreux acteurs pensent en effet que le processus de confirmation du Sénat ne fonctionne plus. Il leur suffit de citer la tentative avortée de nomination de Susan Rice, ambassadrice américaine aux Nations Unies, à la succession d’Hillary Clinton au poste de secrétaire d’État, ou encore l’épisode tout aussi pénible de la nomination de l’ancien sénateur Chuck Hagel au poste de secrétaire de la Défense.

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