President Obama immediately responded to Republican opposition to his nomination of Merrick Garland (or anyone, for that matter) to the Supreme Court in a public address announcing the choice. “I said I would take this process seriously, and I do. I chose a serious man and exemplary judge,” he said. Obama made several mentions of the importance of the office and pointedly argued that partisan politics should be left out of the process.
“There’ve been politics involved in nominations in the past. Although it should be pointed out that in each of those instances, Democrats have confirmed a nominee chosen by a Republican,” he continued. “Our Supreme Court is supposed to be unique. It’s supposed to be above politics, and it should stay that way.”
He added, “Presidents do not stop working in the last year of their office. Neither should senators.”
Through tears, Garland, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, said: “A life of public service is as much a gift to the person who serves.”
He added, “This is the greatest honor of my life.”