Obama to Pick Jewish Judge Merrick Garland to Fill Supreme Court Seat


President Barack Obama will pick Merrick Garland as a Supreme Court justice, according to three people familiar with the matter. The nomination is the opening move in an election-year battle over when to fill the critical ninth seat on the nation’s highest court.

The president is expected make the formal announcement later Wednesday, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Obama’s nominee is expected to languish in the Republican-controlled Senate, where lawmakers have vowed to not hold hearings or votes until at least after the November elections, reports the WSJ.

Merrick Brian Garland was born on November 13, 1952. He is presently the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Garland was born in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Shirley (née Horwitz), was a director of volunteer services, and his father, Cyril Garland, headed Garland Advertising in Chicago.

Garland grew up in Lincolnwood, Illinois, graduated eighth grade from Lincoln Hall Middle School, and graduated high-school from Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois, in 1970. He was named one of 119 members of the Presidential Scholars Program by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, and he came with that group to the White House on June 4, 1970, to listen to a special address in the East Room of the White House to the group by President Richard Nixon. Garland also was named a National Merit Scholar.

Garland graduated valedictorian from Harvard College with an A.B. summa cum laude in social studies in 1974 and then graduated from Harvard Law School with a J.D. magna cum laude in 1977.  During law school, Garland was a member of the Harvard Law Review and served as articles editor from 1976 to 1977. Following graduation, he clerked for Judge Henry Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1977 to 1978, and then clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. from 1978 to 1979.

Garland was Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States from 1979 to 1981. He then joined the law firm of Arnold & Porter, where he was a partner from 1985 to 1989 and from 1992 to 1993. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1989 to 1992, and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1993 to 1994. From 1994 until his appointment as U.S. Circuit Judge, Judge Garland served as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, where his responsibilities included the supervision of the Oklahoma City bombing and UNABOM prosecutions. One of Garland’s mentors, according to a July 6, 1995 Los Angeles Times article, was then-Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick.

Garland has taught antitrust law at Harvard Law School and has served as co-chair of the administrative law section of the District of Columbia Bar.

On September 6, 1995, President Bill Clinton nominated Garland to the D.C. Circuit seat vacated by Abner J. Mikva.

Garland received a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on December 1, 1995. However, his nomination languished under the Republican-controlled Senate until after the 1996 election. At the time of his nomination, many Republican senators cited as their reason for objecting to his nomination the fact that they did not believe that the D.C. Circuit needed an additional judge.

After winning the 1996 presidential election, Clinton renominated Garland on January 7, 1997. Garland was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 19, 1997, in a 76-23 vote and received his commission on March 20. He became Chief Judge on February 12, 2013.

He was widely seen as a leading contender for a nomination to the Supreme Court in the Obama administration following the announced retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens. On March 4, 2016, The New York Times reported that Judge Garland was being vetted by the Obama administration as a potential nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.  On March 11, 2016, it was reported that he was one of three judges on the President’s “short list” (along with Sri Srinivasan and Paul J. Watford).

Today, he was confirmed by Congressional sources to be President Obama’s nomination for the vacant Supreme Court position.

Considered an judicial moderate, Garland told senators during his U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 1995 that the U.S. Supreme Court justice for whom he had the greatest admiration was Chief Justice John Marshall, and that he had personal affection for the justice for whom he clerked, Justice William Brennan. “Everybody, I think, who hopes to become a judge would aspire to be able to write as well as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes,” Garland told the committee at that time. “None are going to be able to attain that. But I’ll try at least—if confirmed—to be as brief and pithy as he is.”

{Andy Heller-Matzav.com / Biographical info courtesy of Wikepedia}


  1. Another lib who happens to be born into a Jewish family – doesn’t mean he’ll represent Jewish interests any more than any other guy.

  2. I’m like presidential obama more and more. Anyone who wants to employ a yid is super duper, ashrecha mr president