Yet Another Harvard-Educated White Guy Nominated For Supreme Court

by John Haltiwanger

On Wednesday, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to the Supreme Court of the United States.

This development comes in the wake of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Garland is 63 years old, Harvard-educated and known for being moderate. He's not exactly a break from tradition.

Before serving on the appeals court, Garland was a prosecutor in the Justice Department, and he famously prosecuted Ted Kaczynski aka the "Unabomber."

With Garland as his choice, it seems the president is going for experience and centrism over diversity and liberalism.

This is a practical choice given Republicans in the Senate said they will not hold confirmation hearings for Obama's nominee. These GOP senators argue the decision should be made by whoever becomes the next president after the election in November.

Given the magnitude of the Supreme Court selection process (and the fact it's the president's constitutional duty), this was definitely a controversial move.

By nominating a judge with a reputation for pragmatism, it appears the president is attempting to push Republicans into a corner.

During his speech announcing Garland as the nominee, the president said,

Our Supreme Court is unique. It is supposed to be above politics. And it should stay that way... I have filled my constitutional duty, not it's time for the senate to do theirs.

It's worth noting every Supreme Court nominee in US history has received a vote within 125 days, and since 1975, it's taken 67 days on average to confirm the president's nominee.