Local legal expert talks SCOTUS nominee’s chances
WGBH - 03/17/2016
President Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland, a well-known moderate who is respected on both sides of the aisle, as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Garland is “a brilliant jurist with impeccable credentials,” says Daniel Medwed, Northeastern University Law Professor and WGBH legal analyst.
The 63-year-old Harvard Law School graduate has served as the chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals since 1997. Before that, Garland was a high profile federal prosecutor who led the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing and the infamous Unabomber case.
But the current political environment makes his confirmation to the Supreme Court uncertain. A partisan battle began brewing soon after death of iconic conservative Justice Antonin Scalia last month. Senate Republicans have vowed to block consideration of any nominee until after the next president is chosen.
It’s “a stroke of political brilliance” on the part of the Obama administration, says Medwed, to nominate a judge who has a reputation – and a record – for being centrist.
“I think the Republican-controlled Senate would have a tough road if it tried to portray Garland as a bleeding-heart liberal.”