President Barack Obama will nominate veteran appeals court judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, according to multiple media reports.
Garland, 63, will replace long-serving conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died of a heart attack at the age of 79 at Cibolo Creek Ranch in West Texas on February 13.
“I’ve devoted a considerable amount of time and deliberation to this decision,” Obama said in an email to the press early Wednesday morning. “I’ve consulted with legal experts and people across the political spectrum, both inside and outside government. And we’ve reached out to every member of the Senate, who each have a responsibility to do their job and take this nomination just as seriously.”
Garland currently serves as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and is viewed as a moderate.
“Judge Garland’s record demonstrates that he is essentially the model, neutral judge,” Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog explained. “He is acknowledged by all to be brilliant. His opinions avoid unnecessary, sweeping pronouncements.”