President Barack Obama announced the nomination of federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday morning.
Speaking from the Rose Garden at the White House, Obama spoke about the importance of a speedy and fair confirmation process for Garland, an allusion to the current state of affairs in the Senate, where Republicans have vowed to refuse the nomination outright. Republican leaders have said that the appointment should be decided by the next president.
“I have fulfilled my constitutional duty,” Obama said. “Now it’s time for the Senate to do theirs.”
Obama also said that Garland’s name was mentioned as a strong candidate by both Democrats and Republicans, and that Garland’s confirmation should not be subject to partisan conflict. He asked the Senate to give Garland “a fair hearing, and then an up-or-down vote,”
“He is the right man for the job, ” Obama said. “He deserves to be confirmed. I could not be prouder of the work he has already done for the American people. He deserves our thanks, and he deserves a fair hearing.”
Garland would replace Antonin Scalia, who died last month.
Garland, 63, would “be the oldest nominee for associate justice since President Nixon nominated the 64-year-old Lewis Powell in 1971,” according to USA Today.
He spoke briefly after the president’s remarks, his voice heavy and breaking with emotion, detailing his career path that led to his nomination, which he called “the greatest honor of [his] life,” aside from his marriage.