From Illinois Business Journal news services
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a member of the Judiciary Committee, likes President Obama’s nominee for justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Judge Merrick Garland is an Illinois native.
“I applaud President Obama’s decision to nominate Chief Judge Merrick Garland,” Durbin said in a statement. “”Judge Garland is an outstanding attorney and jurist with an admirable list of accomplishments.”
Born in Chicago and raised in Lincolnwood, Ill., Garland received undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard and clerked for Judge Henry J. Friendly on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice William Brennan on the Supreme Court.
He served as a federal prosecutor and in several supervisory roles in the U.S. Department of Justice, and he also worked in private practice before he was confirmed in 1997 in a bipartisan Senate vote to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He became chief judge of the D.C. Circuit in 2013.
“The President has fulfilled his constitutional responsibility and now the U.S. Senate must do the same. No Senate has ever denied a hearing to a Presidential nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. In the name of fairness and our Constitution, the Senate Republican majority must do its job and give Judge Garland a public hearing and a timely vote.”
Senate leadership has threatened to fight any attempt to fill the seat of Antonin Scalia, who died last month. Several Republicans say it should be the responsibility of the next president.