President Obama has officially declared his nomination for a new Supreme Court Justice: Judge Merrick Garland! Not familiar with Merrick? Learn five fast facts about him right here!
In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia‘s death, President Barack Obama had a major decision on his hands as to who he nominated to take the late justice’s place. Obama made his formal nomination on March 16, announcing Judge Merrick Garland, 63, as his choice. As the current Chief Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Merrick may not be very widely known to Americans. — so let us help you get to know him!
1. He’s a little older than most Supreme Court justice nominees.
According to a Washington Post chart, the average age of Supreme Court justices has lowered to under 60 since 2000. This puts the 63-year-old Merrick slightly on the older side, but not unusually old. If he is chosen, though, he will be the oldest justice to join the court since Lewis Powell did at 64 years old in 1972.
2. He was almost nominated to the Supreme Court six years ago.
Upon the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens in 2010, Merrick was a leading contender for the Supreme Court spot. But President Obama wanted to save Merrick’s nomination for a time when there might be need for someone that would please Democrats and Republicans alike — which is the exact situation in filling Scalia’s void.
3. He shares an alma mater with five current justices — and Scalia.
Merrick graduated from Harvard Law School, just like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Stephen G. Breyer, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Elena Kagan, and the late Antonin. Justice Ginsberg and Justice Roberts also served on the D.C. Circuit Court that Merrick is on now. With all of these similarities, it seems Merrick was practically molded for a Supreme Court position!
4. He is considered a “moderate.”
Although he has a relatively conservative record on criminal justice, Merrick is billed as a moderate, meaning he tends to see both sides of complex issues. While this might concern liberal advocacy groups, it makes him a relatively likable candidate for the spot as he doesn’t have radical views.
5. If he is chosen, he will be the nation’s 113th justice.
Obama’s nomination doesn’t necessarily mean that Merrick will become the next Supreme Court Justice, but many outlets have said that he will be the most difficult for Republicans to refute. His 19 years on the second most powerful court in the nation make him highly qualified for the position. It could be months before things are decided, but Obama is certainly confident in his nominee!
HollywoodLifers, do you think Merrick would make a great Supreme Court Judge? Tell us below!