FILE - In this May 1, 2008, file photo, Judge Merrick B. Garland is seen at the federal courthouse in Washington. President Obama is expected to nominate Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
Photo: Charles Dharapak
Photo: Charles Dharapak

Who is Merrick Garland, Obama nominee to the US Supreme Court?

The White House has confirmed that Merrick Garland as been nominated to take the place of late Chief Justice Antonin Scalia.

>>Obama nominates Merrick Garland to U.S. Supreme Court

Garland, 63, was special assistant to the attorney general of the U.S. from 1979 to 1981.

He served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia from 1989 to 1992 and as deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1993 to 1994. From 1994 until his appointment as U.S. circuit judge, Garland served as principal associate deputy attorney general. During his time as principal associate deputy attorney general, Garland supervised prosecution of Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols and "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski.

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In September 1995, former president Bill Clinton nominated Garland to the D.C. Circuit seat after it was vacated by Abner J. Mikva.

In 1997, Republican U.S. senator and Judiciary Committee member Orrin Hatch supported Garland's appointment to the federal appeals court, saying "his intelligence and his scholarship cannot be questioned." 

Garland has been a leading contender for a nomination to the Supreme Court earlier in the Obama administration. Seats ultimately went to Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

A Chicago native, Garland graduated from Harvard College in 1974 and from Harvard Law School in 1977.

He is the oldest person to be nominated to the Supreme Court since President Richard Nixon named Justice Lewis Powell in 1972 when he was 64 years old.

Read more about Garland here.

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