Time: 1:42 p.m. CEST
President Barack Obama nominates Merrick Garland, the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to the Supreme Court after the death of the Justice Antonin Scalia. “Today I am nominating the Chief Judge Merrick Garland to join Supreme Court, ” Obama announced today from the Rose Garden at the White House.
Obama said that he fulfilled his constitutional duty and he expects the Senate to do theirs.
“Presidents do not stop working in the last year of their term, neither should the senators.” Obama explained. The President says, “our Supreme Court is unique, it is should be above politics. It has to be and should stay that way.”
Obama pledge to the Senate to make sure fair hearing for Judge Garland. Tomorrow the Senate will take break for two weeks, but Obama says that “his earnest hope is the senators will take that time and reflect to the importance of this process to democracy.” Obama hopes they would act in a bipartisan fashion.
“I ask them to confirm Merrick Garland, now to the Supreme Court, so he take the seat in time and to fully take part with his work for the American people, this fall. He is the right man for the job, he deserves to be confirmed. He deserves our thanks, he deserves fair hearing,” Obama said before letting Garland to speak.
Judge Garland emotionally described legal career as a prosecutor and a judge in brief remarks after the President announced Garland’s nomination for the Supreme Court.
“It is greatest honor of my life, it is greatest gift I received. There is no higher public service than service to the Supreme Court,” President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland said.
The Oklahoma City bombing case in 1995 helped shape Judge Garland’s life in the profession. Garland worked on the Justice Department’s response, starting the case against the bombers and eventually supervising their prosecution.
President Barack Obama announced today his intention to nominee someone who is eminently qualified to sit on the Supreme Court in an email message from the President Obama. Obama said that he spent time, consulted with legal experts, people of different political spectrum, both inside and outside the government for the nomination, he has a Constitutional right to do that.
The White House approached to every member of the Senate, “who each have a responsibility to do their job and take this nomination just as seriously.” Obama considered three principles in considering candidates that show the role of the Supreme Court in the U.S. democracy.
First, a Justice should have an independent mind, unimpeachable credentials, and an unquestionable mastery of law. There is no doubt this person will face complex legal questions, so it is imperative that he or she possess a rigorous intellect that will help give clear answers.
Second, a Justice should recognize the limits of the judiciary’s role. With a commitment to impartial justice and not any particular ideology, the next Supreme Court Justice will understand that the job is to interpret the law, not make law.
However, I know there will be cases before the Supreme Court in which the law is not clear. In those cases, a Justice’s analysis will necessarily be shaped by his or her own perspective, ethics, and judgment.
Therefore, the third quality I looked for in a judge is a keen understanding that justice is not about abstract legal theory, nor some footnote in a dusty casebook. It’s the kind of life experience earned outside the classroom and the courtroom; experience that suggests he or she views the law not only as an intellectual exercise, but also grasps the way it affects the daily reality of people’s lives in a big, complicated democracy, and in rapidly changing times. In my view, that’s an essential element for arriving at just decisions and fair outcomes.
Considering the Republican domination in Congress and reluctance to support Obama’s choice insisting that the next president should nominate the Supreme Court judge, Obama hopes, “Senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee. That is what the Constitution dictates, and that’s what the American people expect and deserve from their leaders.”
The White House digital team created Twitter account @SCOTUSnom with the facts and figures about the nomination process. In his two-terms of presidency Obama had two nominations for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in the period when Democrats had majority in the Senate, but each of them won some Republican support.