On Wednesday, it is expected that President Barack Obama will announce the nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the empty seat on the U.S. Supreme Court left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
According to a number of sources, Garland will be nominated which will set up what is expected to be a protracted political battle with Republicans in the senate who said they would block any White House candidate.
Garland, who is 63, is a longtime lawyer and jurist in Washington. He is the U.S. Court of Appeals chief judge for Washington, D.C.
He is considered to be a moderate, and widely respected in the legal community of D.C. He was a finalist as well for the first two vacancies that Obama filled on the court earlier in his tenure.
Lawmakers in the GOP, have said the entire time since the death of Justice Scalia that the president should leave the nomination of the new justice to his successor in January and do not have any intention of even having a hearing much less vote on the pick.
Speaking Tuesday on the floor of the Senate, Charles Grassley the Judiciary Committee Chair and a Republican from Iowa said the next justice on the Supreme Court could change dramatically the court’s direction and the people of the U.S. deserve to weigh in prior to that happening.
Garland is a native of Chicago who is a Harvard College as well as Harvard Law School graduate. After he became a partner at a law firm, he joined the Department of Justice, where he was in charge of the drug investigations of Marion Barry the then-Mayor of D.C.
A small document of four pages circulated on Tuesday afternoon amongst a small group of allies to the administration.
The document showed the support that Garland had received from all lawmakers during the past and indicated where Senate Republicans have showed support for Garland prior to his possible nomination for Supreme Court.
The document pointed out that the 1997 confirmation of Garland for the D.C. Circuit had won the support of 32 senators in the GOP, which included two members of today’s Judiciary committee Lindsey Graham of South Carolina Utah’s Orrin Hatch.