WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is nominating federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to fill the seat that was held by the late Antonin Scalia.
In doing so, he’s challenging Republicans to reject a long-time jurist and former prosecutor who’s become known as a consensus builder on what is often dubbed the nation’s second-highest court.
Garland, who is 63, is the chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It’s a court whose influence over federal policy and national security matters has made it a proving ground for potential Supreme Court justices.
Obama says Garland would bring integrity, modesty and even-handedness to the Supreme Court.
One Democratic senator says Garland is a “bipartisan choice” for the Supreme Court. And Chuck Schumer of New York asks, “If the Republicans can’t support him, who can they support?”
Republicans who control the Senate say they want to leave the choice of a justice to the next president.