Merrick Garland: A closer look at Obama's reported Supreme Court nominee

FILE - This Feb. 17, 2016 file photo shows the Supreme Court in Washington. President Barack Obama said Wednesday he will reveal his Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and his pick is expected to come from a small circle of federal appeals court judges. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Obama hasselected U.S. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Merrick Garland as the replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

While many had speculated who Obama would select to replace Scalia, the president made his intentions clear Wednesday, announcing thathe had decided to nominate Garland for the vacant Supreme Court seat.

Shortly after The White House held a call informing Congressional leaders of his intentions, The Associated Press reported Garland would be the nominee. The president made his official announcement in the Rose Garden at 11 a.m. EST.

Garland, who is a graduate of both his undergraduate and law degree from Harvard College was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1997, according to the court.

The Illinois native became the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals in 2013.

Garland began his career serving as law clerk to Judge Henry J. Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and to U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., according to the Court of appeals.

"From 1979 to 1981, he was Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States," the court said.

Garland also worked at the law firm Arnold & Porter, according to the court of appeals, he served as a partner at the firm from 1985 to 1989 and from 1992 to 1993.

Between 1989 and 1992 Garland was the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. Other former posts of Garland's include time as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General.

The Associated Press reported that Obama's selection of Garland " sets up a confrontation with Republicans who say they will refuse to consider his nomination in an election year."

As The Hill reported, Obama's nomination is "sure to trigger a partisan battle in the Senate."

"Republicans argue an Obama pick would undoubtedly shift the balance of the court to the left and want the next president to decide Scalia's successor," the publication explained.

"But in Garland, Obama is putting forth a candidate he believes is deserving of GOP support."

Garland, who is 63-years-old "has built a reputation as a moderate who is well-liked by Republicans," The Hill reported.

When he was nominated for the D.C. Circuit by then-President Bill Clinton in 1995 his "nomination was stalled by Senate Republicans, not because of opposition to him but because of a dispute over whether to fill the twelfth seat on that court at all," SCOTUS Blog reported in 2010.

"Clinton re-nominated Garland in January 1997, and he was confirmed approximately three months later by a vote of 76-23," according to SCOTUS blog.

At the time, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) described Garland as "not only a fine nominee, but as good as Republicans can expect from [the Clinton] administration," SCOTUS Blog wrote.

Describing Garland's record, SCOTUS Blog said it "demonstrates that he is essentially the model, neutral judge."

"He is acknowledged by all to be brilliant."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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