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Screenshot of the About Nominations Page on
Nominations About page in the Help Center

Modernizing Congressional Data – Nominations on

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The following is a guest post from Cassidy Charles, a legislative data analyst in the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress.

Continuing our series on modernizing the legislative data exchange behind, we are going to look at the next phase of the project – modernizing the exchange of Nominations data.

The President is authorized by Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution to appoint individuals to certain positions with the advice and consent of the Senate. Positions include federal judges in the judicial branch, as well as specified officers in cabinet-level departments, independent agencies, military services, the Foreign Service, and uniformed civilian services. Confirming these presidential nominations is one of two unique responsibilities the Senate holds regarding executive business, in addition to legislative authority.

With modernization in mind, the Library of Congress and legislative branch partners wanted a robust but nimble system. Utilizing unique identifiers in the modernized data, the data exchange supports specific and precise updates as a nomination moves through the confirmation process, such as if a nomination is partitioned or if a privileged nomination is referred to a committee after initially received from the President.

Unique identifiers also support fielded searching, like searching by Executive Calendar Number with the senateCalendarOrderNumberString field, and searching by specific action text using the action field. With the modernized data structure in place, the PN numbers search box of the Quick Search form has been updated so you can use a nomination citation that includes the Congress, such as 114PN1180. You can opt to receive email alerts for new actions on a nomination by selecting the “Get Alerts” button on any nomination from the current congress. screen show of the Nominations accordion in Search Tools
Nominations accordion in Search Tools

Modernized data supports relationships between nominations and committee hearings. For example, on the weekly Committee Schedule under “Related Items” you can filter by “Nominations”  and see committee meetings for that week with a relationship to one or multiple nominations. You can then visit the committee meeting via the link to learn more about the meeting, or visit the nomination via the link to learn more about the nomination. A weekly committee schedule alert is available for registered users of and distributed every Monday.

A modernized data structure supports making data available in convenient and accessible ways. For example, the Supreme Court prepared search readily displays nominations to the Supreme Court. By saving this search, you can receive an email alert when there is a new Supreme Court nomination and new actions on the nomination.

Nominations data is also available via the API, where users can view and download data in a machine-readable format. To learn more about collections in the API and how to get started using the API visit the API GitHub.

There is an About Collections page to learn more about Nominations and the Search Tools page describes the available search fields. Happy Searching!

A nominations screenshot of 114PN1180
114PN1180 on

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