WASHINGTON, DC — This sets up a dramatic political fight with Senate Republicans who have vowed to block any replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Garland, 63, is the chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has been on short lists before. An appointee of President Bill Clinton, Garland is a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School. As a Justice Department lawyer, he supervised the investigations in the Unabomber case as well as the Oklahoma City bombing.
Senate Republicans do not plan to vet or have hearings on the nominee, and say the next President should be able to choose Scalia’s replacement.
Obama and Democrats argue that with 10 months left in his term, there is plenty of time for the Senate to take up and confirm a new justice.
Obama formally unveiled his pick in the White House Rose Garden.