Judge Merrick Garland is No Stranger to Senate Confirmation Delays

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 9.57.56 AMIf Senate Republicans follow through on their promise to not confirm a new Supreme Court Justice until after a new president is elected, it will be nothing new for President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.  

In late 1995, President Bill Clinton nominated Judge Garland for an opening on the D.C. Circuit Court and although Senate Republicans did give him a hearing, they then stalled his nomination with the 1996 presidential election on horizon.  The reason for the delay, however, apparently had nothing to do with opposition to Judge Garland himself, rather Senate Republicans were arguing that it was unnecessary for the D.C. Circuit to seat 12 judges.

After winning reelection against Bob Dole in 1996, President Clinton renominated Judge Garland and this time he was confirmed by a vote of 76-23.  At the time, Republican Senator Orin Hatch reportedly said that Merrick was “not only a fine nominee, but as good as Republicans can expect from [the Clinton] administration.”

[h/t SCOTUS Blog; image via screengrab]


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