Meet Judge Merrick Garland, Obama's Pick For Supreme Court
President Barack Obama has announced his nominee for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Judge Merrick Garland, chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, has reportedly been tapped by the president to fill a spot left vacant after Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly last month.
The 63-year-old was named Wednesday and comes after the president said he would choose a "consensus" nominee amid threats to block any SCOTUS pick by the Republican-controlled Senate.
Garland has been among those considered for vacancies before. In 2010, Obama successfully chose Justice Elena Kagan, instead.
But before Kagan was approved by the Senate, Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch reportedly said he'd back Garland and even help him on his way.
"I have no doubts that Garland will get a lot of (Senate) votes and I will do my best to help him get them," Hatch said in 2010 as he accused Senate Republicans of the time with trying to play politics with judges with threats to obstruct Garland's nomination.
Hatch is now among the majority of Senate Republicans who've steadfastly vowed to oppose any nominee whatsoever in President Obama's last year in office.
Republican front-runner for president, Donald Trump, has also publicly supported blocking any nominee.
The president is pressing forward, nonetheless. On Wednesday, Obama praised his pick's status as a consensus choice in a statement sent out ahead of his official announcement.
"(Garland) has shown a rare ability to bring people together and has earned the respect of everyone he has worked with," the statement said.
At 11 a.m. on Monday, the press assembled outside the White House to hear President Obama make his public case for Garland while introducing him to America for the first time as a SCOTUS nominee.
Obama praised Garland's dedication to public service. "He walked away from a lucrative law practice to enter public service," Obama said. He then "oversaw some of the most significant prosecutions of the 1990s."
Perhaps the most significant among those prosectutions was the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, which Obama said Garland has been known to refer to as "the most important thing I have ever done in my life."
Soon after that case, Garland was nominated for DC Circuit Court with "overwhelming bipartisan praise from Senators," Obama said.
"The one name that has come up repeatedly from Republicans and Democrats alike is Merrick Garland," said Obama, who's now been tasked with filling three spots on the Supreme Court.
Put simply, the president said, "People respect the way he treats others."
Taking the podium in the Rose Garden, Garland teared up as he thanked the president.
"This is the greatest honor of my life, other than getting Lynn to marry me 28 years ago," he said.
Garland's youngest daughter, 23-year-old Jessie, sat with pride next to her mother at the White House announcement Wednesday.
Missing, though, was her 25-year-old sister Becky.
"I ... wish that we hadn't taught my older daughter to be so adventurous that she would be hiking in the mountains, out of cell-service range, when the president called," Garland joked.