President Barack Obama will make announce his selection of Judge Merrick Garland as a nominee to the Supreme Court from the Rose Garden on Wednesday morning.
Earlier on Wednesday, a Democratic source confirmed that Obama has selected Garland to fill the vacancy left open by the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia
Garland, 63, is the chief judge of the Washington DC circuit court. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he was appointed by former President Bill Clinton.
It’s not the first time Garland was considered for a Supreme Court seat. In 2010, he was in the running for the seat that Obama eventually nominated Justice Sonia Sotomayor for.
There is a massive partisan divide over whether Obama’s tap for the open seat should even receive a hearing. Senate Republican leaders and top presidential candidates have been clamoring for Obama to refrain from nominating a candidate in what is his final year in office, promising to not confirm his choice.
But back in 2010, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah told Reuters that Garland was “a consensus nominee” who would have no problem being confirmed..
“He would be very well supported by all sides” as a Supreme Court nominee, Hatch said, “and the president knows that.”
Democratic leaders have pledged to pressure the GOP-controlled Senate to hold a hearing.
“I do hope that they will do their constitutional duty and give President Obama’s nominee a meeting, a hearing, and a vote. Mr. Obama is doing his constitutional duty, and Senate Republicans should do theirs,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said during a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday.
In an email distributed by the White House on Wednesday, Obama continued to apply pressure to Senate Republicans.
“In putting forward a nominee today, I am fulfilling my constitutional duty. I’m doing my job,” Obama said. “I hope that our Senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee. That is what the Constitution dictates, and that’s what the American people expect and deserve from their leaders.”
Harrison Jacobs, Michelle Mark, Brett LoGiurato, and Maxwell Tani contributed reporting.
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