Merrick Garland, US appeals judge in the Washington DC circuit is Obama’s pick for Supreme Court Justice. Garland was nominated for the ninth seat on the highest court due to the sudden death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia February 13.
Obama referred to Garland as being ” One of America’s sharpest legal minds” on the white house lawn early Wednesday morning.
Garland is described as being a moderate judge with an emphasis on gun control, a hot button issue for liberals and democrats alike. However, has garnered bipartisan support for over 20 years during his legal tenure. This is only the first step in Garland’s road to the supreme court. Confirmation, which is a round of senate judiciary meetings conducted by congress is next on the agenda.
Garland’s nomination is a big win for the Obama administration. With 9 months left of his term, nominating a justice with liberal views can swing the court in favor of his administration. When Justice Scalia died, there was a conflict in which administration would fill his seat: The Obama administration, or the succeeding president.Republican senators have openly opposed the Obama administration picking a new SCOTUS, even threatening to oppose nomination in confirmation hearings.
As of this moment, it is unknown when confirmation will begin.