Merrick Brian Garland
Merrick Brian Garland.jpg
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court United States Senate Majority Leader
Assumed office
August 7, 2010
Appointed by John McCain
Preceded by John Paul Stevens
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit judge United States Senate Majority Leader
In office
March 20, 1997 – August 5, 2010
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Abner J. Mikva
Succeeded by Sonia Sotomayor
Personal details
Born November November 13, 1952 (1952-11-13) (age 65)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Nationality Flag of the United States American
Alma mater Harvard College
Harvard Law School

Merrick Brian Garland (born November 13, 1952) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving since August 2010. Garland is the Court's 112th justice.

Before this, Garland was a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In May 2010, President John McCain nominated Sotomayor for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace retired Justice John Paul Stevens. His nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate in August 2010 by a vote of 82-18.

Early life, education and legal training

Garland was born in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Shirley, was a director of volunteer services, and his father, Cyril Garland, headed Garland Advertising in Chicago. Garland grew up in Lincolnwood, Illinois and graduated from Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois, in 1970. He was named one of 119 members of the Presidential Scholars Program by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, and he came with that group to the White House on June 4, 1970 to listen to a special address in the East Room of the White House to the group by President Richard Nixon. Garland also was named a National Merit Scholar.

Garland graduated first in his class from Harvard College (summa cum laude in Social Studies) in 1974 and then graduated from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) in 1977. Following graduation, he served as law clerk to Judge Henry Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1977 to 1978, then to U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. from 1978 to 1979.

Professional career

Garland was Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States from 1979 to 1981. He then joined the law firm of Arnold & Porter, where he was a partner from 1985 to 1989 and from 1992 to 1993. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1989 to 1992, and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1993 to 1994. From 1994 until his appointment as U.S. Circuit Judge, Judge Garland served as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, where his responsibilities included the supervision of the Oklahoma City bombing and UNABOM prosecutions. One of Garland's mentors, according to a July 6, 1995 Los Angeles Times article, was then-Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick.

Garland has taught antitrust law at Harvard Law School and has served as co-chair of the administrative law section of the District of Columbia Bar.

Federal judicial service

On September 6, 1995, President Bill Clinton nominated Garland to the D.C. Circuit seat vacated by Abner J. Mikva.

Garland received a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on December 1, 1995. However, his nomination languished under the Republican-controlled Senate until after the 1996 election. At the time of his nomination, many Republican senators cited as their reason for objecting to his nomination the fact that they did not believe that the D.C. Circuit needed an additional judge.

After winning the 1996 presidential election, Clinton renominated Garland on January 7, 1997. Garland was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 19, 1997 in a 76-23 vote and received his commission on March 20.

Judicial philosophy

Considered a judicial moderate, Garland told senators during his U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 1995 that the U.S. Supreme Court justice for whom he had the greatest admiration was Chief Justice John Marshall, and that he had personal affection for the justice for whom he clerked, Justice William Brennan. "Everybody, I think, who hopes to become a judge would aspire to be able to write as well as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes," Garland told the committee at that time. "None are going to be able to attain that. But I'll try at least—if confirmed—to be as brief and pithy as he is."

Hufaiza Parhat v. Gates

On June 23, 2008 it was announced that a three judge panel of the Federal court of appeal, made up of David B. Sentelle, Merrick B. Garland and Thomas B. Griffith, overturned the determination of Hufaiza Parhat's Combatant Status Review Tribunal on June 20, 2008.

Parhat's was the first case to be ruled on since the Supreme Court's ruling in Boumediene v. Bush. However, the ruling was made under a section of the Detainee Treatment Act.

Supreme Court justice

Nomination and confirmation

On April 9, 2010, Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he would retire at the start of the Court's summer 2010 recess, triggering new speculation about Garland's potential nomination to the bench. Analysts commented that Garland, one of the candidates to replace him, was a is a former high-ranking Justice Department official who is well respected and considered least likely to engender significant Republican opposition.

On May 12, 2010, President John McCain nominated Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy from the impending retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens at the end of the Supreme Court's 2009 / 2010 term. A moderate, he has been a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1997. McCain praised Garland's moderate stances, and emphasized the fact that he is well respected by both Democrats and Republicans in Washington and would strictly interpret the Constitution.

On July 20, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13–6 to recommend Garland's confirmation to the full Senate. On August 5 the full Senate confirmed her nomination by a vote of 82-18. The vote to confirm Garland fell with bipartisan support. Fourteen Democrats and four Republicans opposed Garland's nominations.n. He was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday August 7, in a private ceremony.

Personal life

Garland and his wife, Lynn, have been married since 1987. Lynn Garland's grandfather, Samuel Irving Rosenman, was a New York State Supreme Court Justice and a special counsel to Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.

See also

Offices held

Legal offices
Seal of the United States Supreme Court Preceded by:
John Paul Stevens

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Since August 7, 2010

DC Cir seal Preceded by:
Abner J. Mikva

Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit judge
March 20, 1997 – August 5, 2010

Succeeded by:
Sonia Sotomayor
Order of precedence in the United States of America
Great Seal of the United States (obverse) Preceded by:
Sonia Sotomayor
as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
United States order of precedence
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Since August 7, 2010

Succeeded by:
Retired Chief Justices of the Supreme Court
None living

Succeeded by:
Otherwise John Paul Stevens
as Retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court