Do Hillary Clinton & Merrick Garland Know Each Other? Bill Once Nominated The Judge, After All
More than a month after Antonin Scalia's untimely passing and a barrage of threats from the Republican Party, President Obama is set to announce that U.S. Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland will fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Garland has been lauded as a "consensus choice" — the best chance of mitigating any GOP sentiment to automatically block Obama's nominees. Obama's message is clear: take the 63-year-old Garland or risk losing out to a younger and more liberal choice to presumably be made by Hillary Clinton. But do Hillary Clinton and Merrick Garland know each other?
After all, back in 1995, President Bill Clinton nominated Garland to the D.C. Circuit, but it took two years before the Senate would grant the appointment by a vote of 76-23. The delay wasn't over his legal resume — Garland once clerked for the late Justice William Brennan, Jr. — but over whether another judge was needed. By March 1997, however, Garland was confirmed, and he eventually became chief judge in 2013.
Hillary Clinton and Garland likely know each other, given their history shared via Bill, but should the former secretary of state win the general election in November, the Senate will probably confirm Garland to avoid a prospect put forth by her. In GOP eyes, Garland, who has already proven his ability to garner both Republican and Democratic support, is a safe bet — safer than any more liberal justice that Hillary would ever appoint.