President Barack Obama announced Wednesday he will nominate Bethesda resident Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court resulting from the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., and his wife, Lynn, are listed in Maryland real estate records as owning a home in the Edgemoor neighborhood of Bethesda. The Associated Press also reported Wednesday the couple live in Bethesda.
If Merrick’s appointment is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he would join another local resident, Chief Justice John Roberts, who lives in Chevy Chase, on the prestigious court.
Obama announced he would nominate Garland, 63, during a press conference Wednesday morning.
“To find someone who just about everyone not only respects, but genuinely likes, that is rare,” Obama said. “It speaks to who Judge Garland is, not only as a lawyer, but as a man.”
Garland’s confirmation to the court now faces an uphill battle, with the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate having vowed it would not vote on any candidate nominated by Obama, stating any nomination should wait until after the November presidential election.
Obama discouraged lawmakers from squabbling over Garland’s confirmation. “To go down that path would be wrong. It would be a betrayal of our best traditions and a betrayal of the vision of our founding documents,” the president said.
President Obama announces nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court at a press conference at the White House Wednesday morning. Screenshot via Whitehouse.gov
In a tearful acceptance of the nomination, Garland said it is the greatest honor in his life, other than his wife agreeing to marry him nearly 30 years ago. He credited his family and thanked Obama for the honor. He promised to be “faithful to the constitution” and said he will work to maintain the public’s “trust that justice will be done in our courts without prejudice or partisanship.”
Garland, who has served on the D.C. Court of Appeals since 1997, has a notable career that includes supervising the investigation into and the prosecutions of the Oklahoma City Bombing suspects when he was a deputy attorney general. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
In a 2003 financial disclosure form, Garland reported that his wife is a teacher at Sidwell Friends School.