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Obama’s Nomination for Supreme Court

Alice Torres, Editor

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Sadly, this year, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. Immediately after his death, chaos ensued as many speculated whom Barack Obama would nominate for a replacement.

Obama ended up giving his nomination to judge, Merrick Garland. Obama also considered two other judges including: Paul Watford, an African American, and Sri Srinivasan, who has Indian ancestry.

During a press conference, Obama stated, “I have made my decision. I’ve selected a nominee who is widely recognized not only as one of America’s sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even-handedness, and excellence. These qualities and his long commitment to public service have earned him the respect and admiration of leaders from both sides of the aisle. He will ultimately bring that same character to bare on the Supreme Court… Today I am nominating chief judge Merrick Brian Garland to join the Supreme Court.”

According to BBC News, Judge Garland, who is 63, is perceived as politically moderate. He has also received praise from a few Republicans. Since 1997, Garland has worked for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was also the Chief Judge there since 2013.

Regardless of Garland’s praise, the Senate, which is dominated by Republicans, has already declared that whomever is nominated, will be rejected. The Republicans firmly believe this decision should be left to Obama’s successor.

According to the New York Times, “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, appeared on the Senate floor shortly after the president’s remarks to declare an end to Judge Garland’s nomination, no matter his qualifications.”

In order for one to join the Supreme Court, they must be nominated by the president, then approved and voted with a majority of the senate. Due to the fact that Obama is at the end of his presidency and the senate is primarily republicans, his nomination has quickly been rejected.

This year, the senate will be going through a set of elections including states like New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado. One-third of the senate will be either re-elected or replaced. Since the senate is predominantly made of republicans, this will be an opportunity for Democrats to come back.

According to the New York Times senators like Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire and Patrick Toomey, of Pennsylvania have said they would like to meet with Judge Garland. While Mark Kirk, of Illinois, has said he would like to meet with Judge Garland, consider him after the upcoming election, and support “hold hearings and/or vote.”

The New York Times went on to discuss that a few Republicans have said that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, they are willing to reconsider Judge Garland if compared with someone more liberal.

Image courtesy of Washington Times

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