WHO IS MERRICK GARLAND?
More about Obama's choice for the Supreme Court. (This is information is taken directly from an Associated Press profile of Garland.) More on the nomination at cnbc.com.
- •Almost made the cut in 2010The last time a seat opened up on the U.S. Supreme Court, in 2010, he was widely considered a top candidate for the job and interviewed with President Barack Obama. But the slot ultimately went to Justice Elena Kagan.
- •Moderate reputationHe has a reputation as a moderate, which could please Republicans, and a resume that makes him look like a lot of the high court's current members.
- •Harvard EducatedHe graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, a school attended by five other current justices and Scalia.
- •Current JobHe's now chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, sometimes called the "second highest court in the land" in part because of the frequency with which its judges ascend to the Supreme Court just a few blocks away.
- •Previous JobsAs a young lawyer, Garland clerked for two appointees of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan Jr. and Judge Henry J. Friendly, for whom Chief Justice John Roberts also clerked. Before becoming a judge himself, he was a prosecutor and supervised Justice Department investigations into the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
- •Possible stumbling blocksDespite his background, there are two possible stumbling blocks to his nomination: his age and the fact he is a white male. Most of the court's current members were nominated and confirmed while in their 50s. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the oldest at confirmation, at 60.Presidents generally like to choose nominees younger than the 63-year-old Garland to ensure they will serve for a long time. President Obama has also sought to diversify the court with his previous picks.