Merrick Garland Has A Reputation Of Collegiality, Record Of Republican Support : NPR

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  2 weeks ago  •  25 comments

By:   NPR. org

Merrick Garland Has A Reputation Of Collegiality, Record Of Republican Support : NPR
Merrick Garland, a judge with 18 years' experience, was not the first choice of liberals. But President Obama hopes his ability to win over conservatives will extend to the Supreme Court.

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March 16, 201611:04 AM ETnpr_nina_totenberg_001_sq-cc26f7764ffe0608c663245c7f897e5f2e1eb989-s100-c85.jpg

Nina Totenberg

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President Obama and Vice President Biden stand with Judge Merrick B. Garland as he is nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday at the White House Rose Garden. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama and Vice President Biden stand with Judge Merrick B. Garland as he is nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday at the White House Rose Garden.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama's choice to serve as the newest Supreme Court justice is Merrick Garland, a moderate federal appeals court judge and former prosecutor with a reputation for collegiality and meticulous legal reasoning.

Garland, who has won past Republican support, has "more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history," a White House official said. "No one is better suited to immediately serve on the Supreme Court."

Garland is the latest judge from the federal appeals court in Washington to be promoted to the current Supreme Court. If confirmed, he would join Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas, all of whom served on the D.C. appeals court before being elevated. So did the late Antonin Scalia, who died last month after nearly 30 years on the nation's highest court.

The selection of Garland, 63, could disappoint avid liberals, who wanted Obama to pick someone who would "take on" the court's conservatives in much the way they say Justice Scalia took on the court's liberals and moderates. And the choice of Garland, a white man who attended Harvard Law School, could also dismay advocates who had hoped for a more diverse candidate from the African-American or Asian legal communities.

But Garland, who currently serves as the chief judge of the nation's second highest court, takes care to emphasize his humble roots. During summer breaks in college, he worked as a shoe store stock clerk, and he sold his comic book collection to help pay his tuition.

As late as last week, Republicans like Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch offered praise for Garland, though it's far from clear whether he and Senate leaders will budge on their determination to avoid hearings or votes on any nominee until a new president takes office in 2017.

Garland has a lengthy record on the D.C. circuit court, but that court deals mainly with regulatory issues and not hot-button social issues of the day, such as abortion and gay rights. That has served as a confirmation advantage for previous nominees from the appeals court, and it likely will for Garland, too. Republican interest groups such as the Judicial Crisis Network signaled they would take issue with his vote to rehear a case over D.C.'s tough gun restrictions.

Another Chicagoan

Merrick B. Garland


Age: 63

Born: Chicago

Religion: Jewish

Family: Wife, Lynn; two daughters

Education: Harvard, AB, 1974; JD, 1977

Career highlights: Law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, 1978-79; associate and partner, Arnold & Porter, 1981-89, 1992-93; Justice Department official, 1979-81, 1989-92, 1993-97; judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, 1997-present

Garland grew up in the Chicago area. His mother, Shirley, was a director of volunteer services, and his father, Cyril, ran a small business out of the basement of the family home, advertising area clothing stores. Garland went to public schools and was valedictorian of his high school class in Skokie. From there, it was on to Harvard College, on scholarship, where he graduated first in his class. At Harvard Law School, he was an editor on the Law Review.

He is married to Lynn Rosenman, an engineer whom he met in Boston while she was getting a master's degree in physics at MIT. Rosenman's grandfather springs from Democratic Party royalty, having advised Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. The Garlands have two daughters.

If confirmed, Garland would be the fourth Jewish justice, along with five Catholics also serving. There hasn't been a Protestant on the bench since 2010.

'The Perfect Background'

Garland began his legal career clerking for two iconic judges: First, conservative Judge Henry Friendly on the federal appeals court in New York, and then for liberal Justice William Brennan on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1979, he served as a special assistant to Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti. With the switch in administrations in 1981, he joined the large Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter, becoming a partner four years later. While in private practice, he did corporate litigation and also taught antitrust courses at Harvard Law School.

But Garland longed to return to public service and wanted more experience in the rough and tumble of trial work. So in 1989, he joined the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., as a line prosecutor, trying cases that ranged from drug trafficking to complex public corruption charges.

In 1993, he joined the newly installed Clinton administration as deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's criminal division. A year later, Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, the department's second in command, asked Garland to be her principal deputy. She said she chose him because he had "the perfect background," having worked in the department at both high and low levels. Moreover, says Gorelick, "He had shown himself to be a brilliant lawyer with excellent judgment, utterly without any political agenda, other than to do right."

A String Of Bombing Cases

Garland was soon put to the test. He supervised the investigations into the Unabomber and the Oklahoma City and Atlanta Olympics bombings, among others. In the Oklahoma City case, he not only headed the investigation but also put together the trial team that prosecuted Timothy McVeigh, winning praise from the state's Republican Gov. Frank Keating.

Gorelick says one of the Garland traits she treasured was his instinct to "question the received wisdom" and not to jump to conclusions. That paid off again and again, she says, when initial evidence seemed to point in one direction in major cases, only to evaporate on later inspection.

Clinton appointed Garland to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1995. After a long Republican stall in the Senate that lasted 19 months, he was confirmed by a vote of 76-23.

A Moderate But Persuasive Liberal

On the appeals court, Garland has been a moderate liberal, with a definite pro-prosecution bent in criminal cases. Indeed, his views in the area of criminal law are considerably more conservative than those of the man he would replace, Justice Antonin Scalia.

But Garland also has been a persuasive voice for liberals, managing to bring conservatives over to his side on issues ranging from the environment to national security. For example, in a case involving Chinese Uighurs detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Garland asked the Justice Department for the particulars of its evidence and then wrote an opinion for himself and two conservative judges that concluded that the Bush administration's claim that they were enemy combatants was utterly unsupported by the evidence.

So respected is Garland as a judge that Chief Justice Roberts, at his confirmation hearing, answered a question about one of his majority opinions by noting that Judge Garland had dissented and, said Roberts, "Anytime Judge Garland disagrees, you know you're in a difficult area."

Correction March 16, 2016

An earlier version of this story was published prematurely and included some out-of-date details. We wrote that if Garland were confirmed, it would be the first time there would be no Protestants on the Supreme Court. In fact, there has not been a Protestant justice since John Paul Stevens retired in 2010. Also, the photo caption originally referred to "retiring Justice John Paul Stevens," as if his departure was about to happen.


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JBB
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JBB    2 weeks ago

Suddenly Garland is a radical liberal to goppers!

 
 
 
George
Freshman Guide
1.1  George  replied to  JBB @1    2 weeks ago

Nope, still just an incompetent piece of shit who should have never been nominated for the Supreme Court, Barry fucked up, good thing Mitch saved us from this.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  JBB @1    2 weeks ago

Suddenly garland is a “rock ribbed Republican” to lying progressives.   Calling him a Republican is as stupidly dishonest a statement as one can make. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2.1  Tessylo  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2    2 weeks ago

He's always been a decent and honorable man, rare among republicans

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.3  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @1    2 weeks ago
Suddenly Garland is a radical liberal to goppers!

Is that why you had to seed an almost 7 year old article?

LOL!

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Principal
2  Nerm_L    2 weeks ago

Now that Biden has been caught by Democrats' politics, it's time to portray Garland as a conservative and a friend to Republicans.  It's rather obvious that liberals are going to transform Garland into an enemy.

 
 
 
George
Freshman Guide
2.1  George  replied to  Nerm_L @2    2 weeks ago

It’s going to be hard for liberals to hide their chapped lips after his Supreme Court nomination.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  George @2.1    2 weeks ago

how do all the alleged conservatives/republicans/gqp hide their chapped lips from trumpturd and mccarthy's asses, for starters?

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.1.2  Ronin2  replied to  Tessylo @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

Pissed that Brandon the Human Fuck Up Machine might finally be held accountable for the exact same shit Democrats accused Trump of?

The sweet, sweet, irony. 

Don't worry, Garland will protect Brandon and the Democrats that is his job. Even if it means denying TDS driven morons yet again by not charging Trump.

 
 
 
Hallux
Junior Principal
3  Hallux    2 weeks ago

If Garland has made a mistake it is in trying to appear independant to both sides. Today's political environment is no longer capable of being straddled ... the damn fence is too high.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
3.1  bbl-1  replied to  Hallux @3    2 weeks ago

The most honest point made thus far in this----------------discussion.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
3.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Hallux @3    2 weeks ago

He's a radical liberal.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
3.3  Ronin2  replied to  Hallux @3    2 weeks ago

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

Name one thing Garland has done to show that he is an independent?

Garland is nothing more than a tool of the Brandon administration and Democrats.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
4  bbl-1    2 weeks ago

This is off topic but I learned that every FBI director from it's inception was a republican.

As far as Garland, if anyone has an axe to grind it would be him.  Perhaps the right wing has far more power than it seems.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
4.1  Ronin2  replied to  bbl-1 @4    2 weeks ago
This is off topic but I learned thateveryFBI director from it's inception was a republican.'

Prove it. Also, learn the difference between a real conservative and an Establishment Republican POS; and swamp creature of DC.

As far as Garland, if anyone has an axe to grind it would be him.  Perhaps the right wing has far more power than it seems.

Right. Because Garland has just been so harsh with BLM/Antifa rioters that destroyed federal property and assault federal officers. No wait; the vast majority of those were released w/o charges. It has to be because he has been so lenient with Jan 6th rioters. No wait; they are still hunting them all down and charging them to the maximum the law will allow. He has left several of them to rot in federal prison while trying to drum up charges. Maybe it is not treating protesting parents at school board meetings like terrorists? Nope; his position on that is clear as well- FBI investigating that as well still. Maybe because Garland appointed a special prosecutor to the Hunter Biden investigation that directly involves Brandon? Nope, Garland is pretending that investigation doesn't exist- as it is slow walked into oblivion. Funny how there are leaks from the FBI and DOJ on all things Trump and Jan 6th; but when it comes to Hunter Biden no leaks; and the LSM isn't bothering to look.

Garland deserves to be impeached in the House; I really don't give a shit if Democrats in the Senate refuse to do their jobs and sit on it after that. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
4.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Ronin2 @4.1    2 weeks ago

Perhaps Garland does deserve to be impeached for not bringing charges of treason against former president trump for what he did or did not do at Helsinki.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  bbl-1 @4.1.1    2 weeks ago

you seem to have all sorts of ideas about Helsinki.

funny you have never once proved anything about what you think may have happened.

Garland is worthless.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
4.1.3  bbl-1  replied to  Ronin2 @4.1    2 weeks ago

Name a democratic president that appointed a democrat as Director of FBI.  Name a republican president that appointed a democrat as Director of the FBI.

What is with the Brandon stuff?  What is that?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  bbl-1 @4.1.3    2 weeks ago

if you don't know about the whole Brandon thing Google it.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.5  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @4.1.3    2 weeks ago
Name a democratic president that appointed a democrat as Director of FBI. 

Obama-James Comey

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
4.1.6  Gsquared  replied to  bbl-1 @4.1.3    2 weeks ago
Name a democratic president that appointed a democrat as Director of FBI.

There has never been a Democrat as Director of the FBI.  All eight FBI Directors since J. Edgar Hoover have been republicans.  Despite the phony right-wing propaganda, James Comey was a republican when Obama appointed him.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
4.1.7  bbl-1  replied to  Gsquared @4.1.6    2 weeks ago

Of course you are correct.   ST in 4.1.5  is wrong again.  There has never been a democratic FBI director.

The statement I made in #4 is 100% correct.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  bbl-1 @4.1.7    2 weeks ago

Maybe it was hard to find qualified Democrats who were seen as "law and order" types.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
5  Gsquared    2 weeks ago

It's funny as fuck that reactionary propagandists spew idiocy like "Brandon the Human Fuck Up Machine" at the same time as they bitch about "TDS driven morons".  How spectacularly lacking in self-awareness.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
5.1  bbl-1  replied to  Gsquared @5    2 weeks ago

TDS only applies to those that fall for the Trumpian swindle and grift.

 
 

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