At 8am this morning, amidst much anticipation the President announced his Supreme Court nominee who President Obama hopes will be confirmed by the senate to replace the late honorable Justice Anthony Scalia who died tragically last month. President Obama selected the honorable Judge Merrick B. Garland as his nominee to fill the 9th slot on the Supreme Court. Chief Judge Merrick Garland is one of the best appellate judges in the country, and currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. There has been much contested debate in Washington over who should be the new Supreme Court Justice, as well as whether or not a new member should be added immediately while Obama still holds the Oval Office. Shortly after Justice Scalia’s death, many republicans in the Senate pledged to block the appointment of anyone that Obama nominated for the position. However, with the GOP in a state of turmoil largely over the continued success of the Trump campaign, many Democrats hoped that stance may have moderated somewhat over the last month.
However, the hardline blocking rhetoric by the GOP does not seem to have faded. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeated on Wednesday what he said just hours after the late justice Antonin Scalia died in mid-February: There will be no Judiciary Committee hearings, and no votes on confirmation while Obama resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. “The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the person the next president nominates,” McConnell said, apparently extinguishing even the dim prospects of a vote in the lame-duck session after the November elections.
Garland, 63, is a judicial moderate who earned the support of a majority of Republicans for his 76-23 confirmation to the appeals court. Seven of the Senate’s current 54 Republicans supported him, while five opposed him, including McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.