Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 to 2017: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President [July 6, 2018] [open pdf - 1MB]
"The procedure for appointing a Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States is provided for by the Constitution in only a few words. The 'Appointments Clause' (Article II, Section 2, clause 2) states that the President 'shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... Judges of the supreme Court.' The process of appointing Justices has undergone changes over two centuries, but its most basic feature--the sharing of power between the President and Senate--has remained unchanged. To receive a lifetime appointment to the Court, a candidate must first be nominated by the President and then confirmed by the Senate. An important role also has come to be played midway in the process (after the President selects, but before the Senate considers) by the Senate Judiciary Committee. On rare occasions, Presidents also have made Supreme Court appointments without the Senate's consent, when the Senate was in recess. Such 'recess appointments,' however, were temporary, with their terms expiring at the end of the Senate's next session. The last recess appointments to the Court were made in the 1950s."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33225