Life goes on….

President Obama Appoints Merrick Garland for SCOTUS

PScreen Shot 2016-03-16 at 8.41.23 AMresident Obama has just appointed DC Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland to take deceased Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The President  delivered a powerful speech introducing the Judge and invoked his and the Senate’s constitutional duty, challenging the already asserted obstructionist Republican stance to deny this stellar and pure choice, even before he was named. For the republicans to turn their back on this choice will be political suicide.

My initial personal take:

#‎MerrickGARLAND‬ As a Jew, a Jewish SCOTUS Judge, makes me proud. A Jew who does not hide, in fear of it, when publicly accepting such a huge honor, publicly – makes me proud. A man who gave up a lucrative partnership in top law firm for public service – as an American does me proud.  I do not know enough about Judge Garland’s politics or opinions on the issues that impact me and my community of women and LGBT. However it seems this person has a great sense of service and justice. In delivering his acceptance speech Judge Garland’s humility and raw emotion shone – a rare plus. Lets hope that the Republicans abide our Constitution and give this person a fair hearing and a chance.

Now we will all be looking to the merits of the President’s choice –

 SCOTUS BLOG notes on its review of Judge Garland as a “potential nominee:  “Overview Regarding Confirmation And Impact Of Garland’s Appointment – Judge Garland’s record demonstrates that he is essentially the model, neutral judge.  He is acknowledged by all to be brilliant.  His opinions avoid unnecessary, sweeping pronouncements.”

and this:

“For a long-tenured judge on a prominent court of appeals, Judge Garland has participated in few cases that resulted in Supreme Court review.  The Supreme Court has not granted cert. in any case in which he wrote the court of appeals’ opinion.  Of the seven cases reviewed by the Supreme Court in which he has stated (or strongly implied) a position, the Justices agreed with him in four.”

and this

“Garland also notably voted in favor of en banc review of the D.C. Circuit’s decision invalidating the D.C. handgun ban, which the Supreme Court subsequently affirmed.  Garland did not take a formal position on the merits of the case.  But even if he had concluded that the statute was constitutional, that view of the case would have conformed to the widespread view that, under existing Supreme Court precedent, the Second Amendment did not confer a right to bear arms unconnected to service in a militia.  Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370 (2007) (see denial of rehearing en banc).”

Tom Goldstein on SCOTUS BLOG also notes:

“Specific Areas Of Law: Because the D.C. Circuit’s caseload is dominated by regulatory challenges, few of the cases in which Judge Garland participated involve hot-button social issues like abortion or the death penalty.  I have attempted to review the principal areas of law in which he has decided a significant number of cases that would likely be most relevant to his potential appointment.”  READ THE WHOLE SCOTUS BLOG


After graduating with honors from Harvard University and Harvard Law School, D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland clerked for Judge Henry Friendly on the Second Circuit and then for Justice William Brennan.

Garland has spent most of his career in public service, much like Justice Samuel Alito.  Both served as Assistant United States Attorneys and as high-level aides to Attorneys General.  If nominated and confirmed to the Court, Garland would be the third sitting justice with prosecutorial experience (joining Justices Alito and Sotomayor).

But while Alito remained in government, Garland’s career also included several years in private practice at Arnold & Porter, where he was named a partner in 1985.  During this period, Garland also taught antitrust at Harvard Law School in 1986 and published articles ““ both on antitrust law ““ in the Harvard Law Review and Yale Law Journal.

In 1993, Garland was appointed as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.  In 1994, Garland became the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, with responsibilities that included the supervision of the Oklahoma City bombing case and the case against the Unabomber. READ MORE .


Melanie Nathan, [email protected]


3 thoughts on “President Obama Appoints Merrick Garland for SCOTUS

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    … and the nominee is ……. DC Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland!!

  2. The article said that Obama appointed Garland. Actually he nominated Garland. Senate confirmation (which is unlikely) is needed before Garland can sit as Supreme Court justice.

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