Merrick Garland, 63-year-old, Harvard College graduate, who graduated not only as valedictorian but summa cum laude, was chosen by President Obama on March 16, 2016 to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the passing of Justice Antonio Scalia last month.
It seems that he was on the short list since June of 2010 to fill the vacancy when his name was mentioned among a list of potentials when John Paul Stevens retired, so this selection should come as no surprise. What also comes as no surprise is that there is already talk of not giving him a hearing simply because President Obama is the one nominating him.
Garland’s role in the Oklahoma City Bombing trial has landed him on several conspiracy theorist watch lists. So this kind of nonsensical backbiting is not new to Judge Garland. Some stating that his being appointed in 1997 to the position of Chief Judge of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia was part of a pay off helping to cover-up government actions in the case. Two of the seven Republican senators who are still in the senate that voted to confirm Garland, are Arizona senator John McCain and Oklahoma senator Jim Inhofe. Two senators who are very likely to stand in opposition to his nomination to the Supreme Court.
By all reasonable accounts, he is a moderate who has deftly navigated the cavernous void between the left and right. As President Obama is quoted in this article by CNN:
And we would have to ask our political leaders in the Senate of Obstruction, what actions have occurred would lead to a complete 180° pivot on the competence of this man to fill the seat other than the GOP stance that they must object to anything that President Obama wants to do.
Hopefully, this nomination can be the turning point in our politics of division, rather than politics as usual.