President Obama has named his official nominee to the Supreme Court in a ceremony that took place Wednesday morning in the White House Rose Garden.
According to the New York Times, the President nominated Merrick B. Garland, a moderate judge who currently serves on the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia.
In explaining his choice of a judge, Obama said that Garland is “widely recognized not only as one of America’s sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even-handedness and excellence. These qualities and his long commitment to public service have earned him the respect and admiration from leaders from both sides of the aisle.”
The President added that Garland is “uniquely prepared to serve” on the Supreme Court.
Critics and political commentators wasted no time in speculating on the reasons for the President’s choice and its implications.
BBCNews.com reports that Obama perhaps chose a moderate, experienced judge like Garland so that the American people would view the Senate’s attempt to block his nominee as overblown and unnecessary. Perhaps Garland was simply the most qualified person for the job who was also willing to undergo what promises to be a messy process to a possible appointment to the Court.
“I simply ask Republicans in the Senate to give him a fair hearing, and then an up-or-down vote,” Obama said. “If you don’t, then it will not only be an abdication of the Senate’s constitutional duty, it will indicate a process for nominating and confirming judges that is beyond repair.”
Not long after the ceremony, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to reiterate his position that the Senate will try to block the President’s nominee from being confirmed.
“The American people may well elect a president who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration,” McConnell said. “The next president may also nominate someone very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.”
Publication date: March 16, 2016