President Obama announced Wednesday that he has named Merrick Garland as his Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, the court's leading conservative voice who died last month. The chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Garland is a highly respected moderate judge who Obama hopes will satisfy Republicans who have vowed to deny any Obama nominee in favor of letting the next president fill the vacancy.
Garland, 63, would be one of the oldest associate justices to be appointed to the Supreme Court were he to be approved; ABC News reports he was also considered for the Supreme Court vacancies that ultimately went to Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Garland oversaw the prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing as well as that of the "Unabomber" when he was a principal associate deputy attorney general. His work in such high-profile death penalty prosecutions might make him a friendlier candidate to reluctant Republicans. Garland was nominated to the D.C. Circuit by Bill Clinton in 1997.