Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
Merrick Garland isn’t the latest Christmas character or patriotic decoration. He is our newest Supreme Court candidate. Garland’s candidacy is currently pending, and if approved, would make him the 113th Supreme Court justice of the United States. He was nominated on March 16, 2016, after the sudden and unfortunate death of Justice Antonio Scalia.
Who Is Merrick Garland?
Merrick Garland was born in Chicago, Illinois, on November 13, 1952. His Jewish grandparents fled from Russia in the early 1900s, and he was raised in Chicago as a conservative Jew. He is married and has two daughters, both of whom are Yale graduates. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Law School and worked as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice. While working at the Department of Justice, Garland was one of the lead investigators in the Oklahoma City bombings of 1995, as well as the Atlanta Olympics bombings. He currently serves as the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals in D.C. and has served in that role since 1997. An interesting fact about Garland is he is actually color blind and has to use a list in order to match his ties to his suits.
What Are Garland’s Views?
Garland has long been a well-known figure in Washington and has received praise from both Democrats and Republicans alike. In general, Garland is considered to be a more liberal, left-leaning judge, but he does have certain areas in which he has more conservative instincts, such as criminal justice cases. In 2010, the publisher of SCOTUSblog, Tom Goldstein, wrote, “Judge Garland’s record demonstrates that he is essentially the model, neutral judge. He is acknowledged by all to be brilliant. His opinions avoid unnecessary, sweeping pronouncements.” He is also known to be genial and rarely writes dissents, having only written 15 in the past 20 years. This is actually not the first time he has been considered for a vacant Supreme Court justice position. He has been considered two other times during Obama’s terms, once during 2009 when Sonia Sotomayor was ultimately appointed, and again in 2010 when Elena Kagan was nominated and confirmed.
What’s Slowing the Candidacy Proceedings?
President Obama’s nomination drew criticism from Republicans, who argued since he was nearing the end of his term, Obama should not have the opportunity to designate a new Supreme Court candidate. They also vowed to block any replacement candidate until the new president was in office, to which Obama responded by stating the President will continue to do his job until his term is over and so should the rest of the White House. One interesting tactic used in an attempt to discredit Garland was the allegation he once crossed over a relay race line when he was a child at summer camp. It seems currently, Republicans are doing everything in their power to prevent Merrick Garland from becoming the next Supreme Court justice, even resorting to childish techniques.
Regardless of the results, we are dedicated to keeping you in the know about the Supreme Court candidacy. To keep in touch, contact us on our website!