Merrick Garland calls nomination "greatest honor"

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Calling on the Senate to do its duty, President Barack Obama today nominated the Illinois-born Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia.

"This is the greatest honor of my life," Garland said, outside of his wife's "agreeing to marry me 28 years ago."

Garland has received praise from both sides of the aisle.

He was born November 13, 1952, in Chicago. He grew up in the suburb of Lincolnwood, Illinois and attended Niles West High School. He was a National Merit Scholar and member of the Presidential Scholars Program.

He attended Harvard College and earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies. He went on to Harvard Law School and later became Special Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice.

He supervised the prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber cases.

He became a partner in the law firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. in 1985.

Garland left the position to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. He ascended to the position of Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General until he was appointed U.S. Circuit Judge by President Bill Clinton.

Despite earning praise from both sides of the aisle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not wavered in his position.

“It is about a principle, not a position,” McConnell said.

Senate Republican leaders are vowing not to conduct confirmation hearings before the November election, and had strongly suggested that the president should have allowed his successor to make the pick.

In a statement released ahead of the announcement, President Obama said he had “consulted with legal experts” and “reached out to every member of the Senate, who each have a responsibility to do their job and take this nomination as seriously".

 U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois says he will assess President Barack Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court "on his record and qualifications."

 Kirk on Wednesday reiterated a stance he first took last month when he broke with some fellow Republicans who said Obama's successor should choose a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

 Kirk says it's the Senate's "constitutionally defined role to provide advice and consent" and that's "as important as the president's role in proposing a nominee."

 U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has joined fellow Democrats and advocacy groups calling on Senate Republicans to give President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee a confirmation hearing and timely vote.

Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, calls Garland "an outstanding attorney and jurist with an admirable list of accomplishments."
 

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