Merrick Garland declared Obama’s Supreme Court nominee
President Barack Obama has nominated veteran appeals court judge Merrick Garland to be the next US Supreme Court Justice.
The Supreme Court vacancy follows the death of Antonin Scalia last month.
Judge Garland, 63, is viewed as a moderate and has won praise from senior Republican figures.
The appointment has to be ratified by the Senate, but its Republican majority has vowed to block a vote on any Supreme Court nominee from Mr Obama.
Republicans have called on the president to leave the nomination to his successor, who will be elected in November.
The death of Justice Scalia, a staunch conservative, left the nine-member Supreme Court evenly divided between conservatives and liberals.
The vacancy has become a major issue in the presidential election because the high court is often the final say on divisive issues such as abortion, immigration and climate change.
Urging the Senate to support Mr Garland, the US president said: “He is the right man for the job. He deserves to be confirmed”.
President Obama said Mr Garland – chief judge of the Washington appeals court and a former prosecutor – enjoyed respect from Democrats and Republicans alike.
Announcing the nomination in the White House Rose Garden, Mr Obama praised Mr Garland’s decency, integrity and even-handedness during his long career in public service, and described him as an exemplary judge.
Mr Garland was prepared to serve on the court immediately, he said.
President Obama expressed hope that Republicans would act in a bipartisan spirit and give Mr Garland a “fair hearing”.
The nomination was the “greatest honour of my life”, Mr Garland said.
Mr Garland was appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1997, winning confirmation in a 76-23 Senate vote, and served in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration prior to that.
Seven sitting Republican senators voted to confirm Mr Garland in 1997.
The White House also noted that when Mr Garland was previously considered for the Supreme Court, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said the judge would be “very well supported by all sides”.
Republicans again stressed they would defer action on a nomination to the Supreme Court until after the election.
Senate Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell said the American people should have a voice in filling the vacancy. He also accused Mr Obama of making the nomination “in order to politicise it for purposes of the election”.
Garland’s mother Shirley (née Horwitz) was a director of volunteer services at Chicago’s Council for Jewish Elderly; his father, Cyril Garland, headed Garland Advertising, a small business run out of the family’s home. Garland was raised as a Jew.
Garland attended Harvard College on a scholarship, graduating as valedictorian with an A.B. summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in social studies in 1974.Garland then attended Harvard Law School, graduating with a J.D. magna cum laude in 1977. During law school, Garland was a member of the Harvard Law Review, serving as its articles editor from 1976 to 1977.
Garland’s responsibilities included the supervision of highest-profile domestic-terrorism cases in recent U.S. history, including the Oklahoma City bombing prosecutions, the UNABOM prosecution, and the Atlanta Olympics bombings investigations.
Garland and his wife, Lynn, have been married since 1987. Lynn Garland’s grandfather, Samuel Irving Rosenman, was a justice of the New York Supreme Court (a trial-level court) and a special counsel to Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. Garland and his wife have two daughters, Rebecca and Jessica; both are graduates of Yale University.
a lot of this was covered yesterday in comments but its still worth posting..you can see why old merrick was at the top of the list..this would push the numbers back to nearly even for the clan of berg in the SC..