Obama nominates Garland to Supreme Court

This morning,Obama chose Merrick Garland (a federal appeals court judge) as Supreme Court Nominee. He will fill the vacant position occupied until recently by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Three federal judges were considered to fill the vacancy, and Merrick was Barack Obama’s choice to fill Scalia’s seat.

The message sent today by the US president indicated his intention to finally decide on a nominee: “I’ve made my decision. Today, I will announce the person whom I believe is eminently qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.

As President, it is both my constitutional duty to nominate a Justice and one of the most important decisions that I -- or any president -- will make.”

It's worth mentioning that Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, leaving the post vacant. Even though there were (and still are) attempts to block and interfere with the nomination of the new Supreme Court candidate (at least until next January, when a new president should be elected), Obama managed to move things further.

The appointment to the US Supreme Court is made for lifetime, so the confirmations do not come easy. Among the duties of Garland if he is confirmed by the Senate, are such important tasks as decision on abortion, the death penalty, voting rights, etc.

Opposition in light of nomination

The main opposition, in the face of the Republicans, will most likely follow up with their promise not to agree with any nominees proposed by Obama, making things more difficult. "We believe it's not an unreasonable position to take to say to the American people in the course of this presidential election that their voice should be heard in this process, particularly where the balance of power on the Supreme Court is going to be determined perhaps for the next 25 or 30 years," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday.

Merrick Garland is characterized as a “former prosecutor." He was the head of the Oklahoma City bombing investigation and the Unabomber investigation. The main downside is that Garland is 63 years old and a large number of officials would prefer someone a little younger in this position.

The next Supreme Court nominee should have three main qualities, according to the US president: “independent mind, unimpeachable credentials, and an unquestionable mastery of law; recognition of the limits of the judiciary's role; awareness that justice is not about abstract legal theory, nor some footnote in a dusty casebook.”

It seems that Merrick Garland meets these criteria, a candidate who has real life experience, along with a rich justice background.