Obama’s Pushing To Fill Scalia’s Seat And Democrats Think It’s A Win Situation For Them


President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C., Circuit to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.  

“I’ve selected a nominee who is widely recognized not only as one of America’s sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even handedness and excellence,” Obama said during an announcement in the White House Rose Garden last week.


For those who don’t know much about Garland here are some facts about him.

Was confirmed by seven sitting GOP senators in 1997

In 1997, Chief Judge Garland was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit, 76-23, with the majority support of both major parties. This included the support of seven current GOP senators: Dan Coats (Indiana), Thad Cochran (Mississippi), Susan Collins (Maine), Orrin Hatch (Utah), James Inhofe (Oklahoma), John McCain (Arizona) and Pat Roberts (Kansas).

For 19 years, Garland has served on that court, which is considered among the most important appellate courts in the United States. He has been chief judge of the D.C. Circuit for more than three years.

Would be the oldest justice to get confirmed in 40 years

Garland was born in Illinois on Nov. 13, 1952. At 63, his confirmation would make him the oldest justice to join the Supreme Court in 44 years. 

Would make five of nine sitting justices Harvard Law grads

If he is appointed, Garland would give the court five graduates of Harvard Law School: John G. Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended Harvard Law but transferred to Columbia Law School, where she graduated. Three justices are Yale Law School alums: Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Would make three former prosecutors on the court

Garland, a former deputy assistant U.S. attorney general during President Clinton’s first term, would be the third sitting justice with prosecutorial experience — joining Sotomayor and Alito. Garland supervised the Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber cases. When he was a potential nominee in 2010, SCOTUSBlog, a popular law blog written by lawyers and law students, reviewed his then 13 years as a D.C. circuit judge in criminal cases. “Judge Garland rarely votes in favor of criminal defendants’ appeals of their convictions,” the blog reported.

Yahoo News reported that Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C., Circuit will most likely not become Justice Merrick Garland of the Supreme Court, at least not while President Obama remains in office. He seems unlikely to get even a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, or a vote either by that panel or the whole Senate.

And it may be partly because it’s hard to imagine an Obama nominee more likely to win confirmation, if the Republicans allowed a vote.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeated on Wednesday what he said just hours after the late justice Antonin Scalia died in mid-February: There will be no Judiciary Committee hearings, and no votes on confirmation while Obama resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the person the next president nominates,” McConnell said, apparently extinguishing even the dim prospects of a vote in the lame-duck session after the November elections.

Still, the pitched political battle over Garland’s fate could turn in unexpected ways, and will shape — and be shaped by — the 2016 race: not just Donald Trump’s unprecedented presidential race but the fight to control the Senate, in which a platoon of Senate Republicans are facing stiff challenges.

President Obama nominates Merrick Garland for Supreme Court.

Read the full story at Yahoo News.


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