Advice and Consent: Hagel's Confirmation Hearing a Test of Senate Independence

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) faces his long-anticipated confirmation hearing today before the Senate Armed Services Committee for the position of Secretary of Defense. The hearing will not only be an examination of Hagel’s qualifications and views, but will test whether the Senate’s “advice and consent” process is a serious filter for potential Cabinet nominees, or merely a rubber stamp and a forum for political grandstanding.