Obama Nominates Merrick Garland For High Court

President Barack Obama says allowing the Supreme Court confirmation process to become an extension of the presidential race would be wrong. He says that would betray America’s best traditions.

Obama is urging Senate Republicans to grant hearings and a confirmation vote to Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. He says if they don’t, it would be an abdication for the Senate’s constitutional duty and would show the nominating process is “beyond repair.”

Obama says the Supreme Court is supposed to be above politics.

The president says Garland will travel to Capitol Hill on Thursday to meet one-on-one with senators.
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11:20 a.m.
President Barack Obama says his nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, is uniquely qualified to serve on the court immediately.

Obama says during an announcement in the White House Rose Garden that Garland earned a scholarship to Harvard, put himself through law school and went on to become a partner at a law firm in just four years. He says Garland then made the highly unusual choice of giving that up and accepting a job as a federal prosecutor. At the time, Obama says, crime was rampant in Washington D.C., and Garland wanted to help.

Obama noted that Garland oversaw the federal government’s response to the deadly bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995. Obama says the case informed his view that the law is more than an intellectual exercise and that he believes in protecting the basic rights of every American.

Garland has served for 19 years on United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and became its chief judge in 2013. Obama says, “I chose a serious man and an exemplary judge.”
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11:10 a.m.
President Barack Obama says federal appellate judge Merrick Garland would bring a spirit of modesty, integrity and even-handedness to the Supreme Court.

Obama is announcing that he’s nominating Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. He says Garland is widely recognized for his excellence. He’s pointing to Garland’s experience as a law clerk, a prosecutor and as chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Obama says he went through a rigorous and comprehensive process to pick his nominee. He says he sought to set aside short-term expediency and “narrow politics.”

The president says he reached out to every member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to seek advice about the nomination.
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11:00 a.m.
Republicans are holding firm against letting President Barack Obama pick the next Supreme Court justice after learning that Obama is nominating federal appellate judge Merrick Garland.

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts says even though he voted for Garland when he was first confirmed in 1997, he’s opposed now. He says it’s not about the nominee, but about the process.

Roberts says Garland “may very well be a very good nominee.” Still, he says the American people should decide and not Obama.

Senate Republicans have insisted for weeks that they won’t hold hearings or a confirmation vote on Obama’s pick. Some Republicans have even said they’d refuse to meet with Obama’s nominee.
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10:15 a.m.
The White House says President Barack Obama is nominating federal appellate judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court because nobody is better suited to serve immediately.

Obama plans to announce his nomination on Wednesday morning in the Rose Garden. Garland is the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and would replace the late Antonin Scalia.

The White House says Garland has more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history, and that he’s known for building consensus.