Obama nominates Merrick Garland to be next US Supreme Court judge
March 15, Washington: President Barack Obama has announced he is nominating veteran appeals court judge Merrick Garland to be the next US Supreme Court Justice.
The Supreme Court vacancy follows the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month at the age of 79, reports said.
Judge Garland, 63, is the chief judge of the Washington appeals court and a former prosecutor.
The Republican majority in the Senate has said it will block a vote on any Supreme Court nominee from Obama.
Republicans have called on Obama to leave the nomination to his successor, who will be elected in November.
The death of Scalia, a staunch conservative, left the nine-member Supreme Court evenly divided between conservatives and liberals.
It also set off a battle in a presidential election year over his successor.
Merrick Garland was appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1997, winning confirmation in a 76-23 Senate vote, and served in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration prior to that.
The Oslo Times