President Obama announces Merrick Garland to fill contested Supreme Court vacancy

Posted on 03-16-2016 by
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This morning, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland as the nation’s 113th justice to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. While much controversy will continue to arise around how the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate will treat the President’s nomination, we’ve surfaced relevant biographical information about Garland.

Merrick B. Garland (Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit)

Garland, 63, was born in Chicago. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna *** laude.

Garland was a law clerk for Judge Henry Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1977 to 1978, clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. from 1978 to 1979, and served for two years as Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States.

Garland went into private practice in 1981 as an associate at Arnold & Porter, where he was later named partner. In private practice, Garland’s responsibilities included criminal, civil and national security issues. Garland left the private sector in 1989 to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

After a brief return to Arnold & Porter in 1992, Garland was named as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In the spring of 1995, he was the lead Justice Department prosecutor on-site in Oklahoma City, responsible for nationwide prosecution efforts and the initial proceedings against co-conspirators Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. He was promoted to Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General and served in this capacity until his appointment as U.S. Circuit Judge during the Clinton administration in 1997.

    • Representative Clients: In private practice, Garland represented clients such as State Farm Insurance, Miller Brewing Co. and Maryland Deposit Insurance Fund Corp.
    • Supreme Court Experience: Garland has argued 21 cases before the Supreme Court.
    • Judicial Opinions: Garland has authored 38 opinions as a judge, including constitutional matters (Jarita Mesa Livestock Grazing Association v. United States Forest Service), judicial misconduct cases (Jenkins v. Kerry) and transportation disputes (United States ex rel. Sanders v. Allison Engine Co.).

*The information contained in these biographical profiles was excerpted from the LexisNexis® Litigation Profile Suite.

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