President Barack Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court as the replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia who passed away last month.
He has been called “one of the nation’s sharpest legal minds,” and yet many Republicans have already vowed to refuse to consider Garland as Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court. Since Scalia’s passing, GOP leaders have been vocal about their likely denial of an Obama nominee and desire to hold out until Obama is out of office.
During Garland’s nomination ceremony, Obama touted not only his qualifications, but also his temperament, saying that any attempt to deny him the position must be the result of dishonorable political intent.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that, regardless of who the next president is or where their political allegiances lie, their goal is to “give the people a voice in the filling of [Scalia’s] vacancy.”
More on Merrick Garland
Merrick Garland is the chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, appointed during the Clinton administration. Garland attended Harvard and then Harvard Law School, and was involved in a supervisory capacity in the Unabomber and Oklahoma City Bombing investigations. Garland was visibly emotional at the nomination ceremony, calling it “the greatest honor of [his] life.” Garland is Obama’s third nominee to the Supreme Court after Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 and Elena Kagan in 2010.
Scalia was the Supreme Court’s main conservative voice. His loss may mean that court splits are much more likely on controversial issues, in which case the decision made by the lower court would stand.