BREAKING: Merrick Garland Nominated For Supreme Court

UPDATE #3: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper adds his support:

“Today, President Obama nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Judge Garland has had a distinguished career as a judge and prosecutor, and has more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history. He earned strong bipartisan support for his appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and throughout his career. He deserves to be considered, and I hope the Senate will honor its constitutional responsibilities. The United States Supreme Court has serious legal challenges before it. A fully functioning Supreme Court is of vital importance to this country.”

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UPDATE #2: Sen. Michael Bennet weighs in in the affirmative via the Denver Post:

Senate Democrats, such as U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, have made the counterpoint that the Senate has the obligation to consider Garland as a candidate independent of the politics of the moment.

“Judge Garland has an excellent reputation and is eminently qualified,” said Bennet in a statement following the Rose Garden address. “I worked for and with him at the Justice Department and have a firsthand appreciation for his extraordinary legal skill and respect for the law.”

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Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

UPDATE: It’s official: Sen. Cory Gardner will obstruct.

Gardner, a Republican representing Colorado, released this statement on Wednesday morning shortly after President Barack Obama announced his nomination to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court: “We stand at a pivotal point in our nation’s history. The Obama Administration continues to use the judicial and regulatory systems to push through its legislative agenda, shifting the balance of power that our Founders established. That is why the next president of the United States should have the opportunity to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. In 1992, even then-Senator Joe Biden stated the Senate should not hold confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court nominee until after that year’s presidential election. Our next election is too soon and the stakes are too high; the American people deserve a role in this process as the next Supreme Court Justice will influence the direction of this country for years to come.”

Meanwhile, local liberals turn up the heat:

“Judge Merrick Garland’s qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court are above reproach,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “Despite all of the political posturing up to now, Cory Gardner has an obligation to give this highly qualified nominee a fair hearing. To refuse to even consider Judge Garland will just prove again that Gardner and his right-wing colleagues in the U.S. Senate have no interest in doing their jobs.”

“The people of Colorado are sick and tired of the dysfunction in Washington,” said Franklin. “If conservatives refuse to do their jobs and give Judge Garland a fair hearing, the voters will make them pay dearly for this last act of pointless obstruction against President Obama in November.”

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That’s the breaking news from ABC moments ago:

garland

We’ll update with more information and local reactions shortly. We’re pretty sure he’s no relation to Judy.

NPR has more biographical info:

Garland, 63, is currently the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. A former prosecutor, he’s also viewed as a moderate. And he has cultivated a reputation for openness and collegiality at the D.C. Circuit, a bench that’s sometimes called the second most important in the land…

With Garland standing beside him, Obama recounted the judge’s bio, from his youth in Chicago to his sacrifices to go to college and law school — sacrifices, Obama said, that included Garland selling his comic book collection.

Before becoming a judge, Garland occupied top posts in the Justice Department, where he oversaw some of the biggest investigations of the Clinton era, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the Unabomber case, and the Atlanta Olympics bombing.

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    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Not neceaaarily.  HRC sweep carries 48 states and regains Senate.  Lame duck Rs confirm Garland, fearing Hillary will nominate worse if they don't.  

    • Republican 36 says:

      You're probably right but Nina Totenberg reported on NPR this morning the Republican senate sent a back channel message to the White House that if the President nominated Judge Garland and if the Democrats win the White House, they will confirm him because whomever President Clinton would nominate would be less acceptable than Judge Garland. Ms. Totenberg said she had several sources that confirmed her report.

      Assuming her sources are correct, the senate Republicans now look even sillier. First, within hours of Justice Scalia's sudden death, they said the voters should choose by electing the next President and now they are taking the position that President Obama's nominee is just fine if they don't win the White House in November. So, according to senate Republicans, Judge Garland is acceptable unless they win the White House and then of course he won't be acceptable. Since he's acceptable from a judicial point of view, why not just go forward immediately with hearings and a recommendation from Judiciary to the full senate and a subsequent vote up or down during the next two or three months?

      Under the new scenario that the Republicans have initiated how can they now say they won't even meet with President Obama's nominee. Their position is now untenable and undone by their own hand.  

      • Republican 36 says:

        Of course, Senator Gardner's position looks even sillier now than it did before the report from NPR's Nina Totenberg this morning. Here's the good senator's real position at the moment (emphasis on "at the moment"):

        I'm going to obstruct and refuse to even consider Judge Garland, President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, because the next President should choose the next Supreme Court justice (not President Obama). I want the voters to speak on this through the election process this year. However, if Hillary Clinton wins the general election in November, then, in that case, President Obama's nominee is just fine and we'll confirm him. 

        What a ridiculous position to take. President Obama shouldn't choose Justice Scalia's replacement because he is a lame duck President but his nominee is perfectly fine and should be confirmed if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in November. Its going to be very interesting to see Senator Gardner's intellectual gymnastics, when he tries to make sense out of all this. He's not looking very senatorial. 

        • Republican 36 says:

          Here's Senator Gardner's bottom line on filling the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy:

          I want and will respect the voters choice for President in November and who that person nominates to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, but only if the voters elect the Republican candidate for President. If the voters elect the Democratic candidate for President then the present lame duck President's nominee should be confirmed but in the meantime, I'm going to obstruct the lame duck's nominee.

          His position is vacuous and mindless nonsense. 

  1. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Good choice for sticking it to the pubs.  Not a great choice if you thought he was actually going to be seated, as younger would be better.

  2. Marco Polo says:

    President Obama has made a thoughtful choice in Judge Garland.  Senator Gardner continues to impress folks with what an ass he really is.  As a continuation of Obama's civil approach to governing, it offers voters in November a clear contrast in leadership.

  3. VoterEmoter says:

    The nomination process is not subject to stare decisis.  For the Republicans, it's become stare obstructus.  How disappointing but predictable that they've become such hypocrites toward their constitutional responsibilities.

  4. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    You'd think the GOP would see reason. If they confirm this guy it will save them seats. People are sick of the obstruction. I could see this nomination being the last straw for a lot of voters.

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