3 things to know about Obama's Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland.

Last month, President Obama penned a guest editorial for SCOTUSblog about the responsibility he has as president to nominate a replacement for the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

In his words, he was looking for "an independent mind, rigorous intellect, impeccable credentials, and a record of excellence and integrity."


This morning, the president announced Merrick Garland as his nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

After making shortlists in President Obama's past Supreme Court replacements (which eventually went to Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagen), it's finally Garland's time to shine. However, going from nominated to confirmed won't exactly be an easy task, as prominent Republican Senators have pledged to block anybody Obama nominates.

President Obama is flanked by VP Joe Biden and nominee Merrick Garland. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

Who is Merrick Garland? Here are three things to know about the man who might soon be weighing in on important constitutional issues:

1. He's a 63-year-old chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Let's start with the basics. He's 63. He graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude and became a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals after being nominated to the circuit court by President Bill Clinton (twice, in 1995 and 1997 when he was confirmed by the Senate).

As the name suggests, appellate courts hear appeals of rulings from the lower circuit court. The Supreme Court hears certain appeals from the lower appellate court.


2. As a prosecutor, Garland oversaw two high profile cases of domestic terrorism.

During his time as principal associate deputy attorney general, Garland was given the responsibility of overseeing the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in the 1995 bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, that resulted in the death of 168 people. And up until his appointment to the Court of Appeals, he supervised the prosecution of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.

While Garland hasn't been vocal about a stance on capital punishment, it should be noted that McVeigh was sentenced to death by lethal injection. Kaczynski is currently serving eight life sentences.


Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh is escorted by police and FBI. Photo by Bob Daemmerich/AFP/Getty Images.

3. Perhaps more importantly, Garland appeals to people on all sides of the political spectrum.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who served on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1995 until 2005, has praised Garland on a number of occasions. During 1997 hearings for Garland's current spot on the appeals court, Hatch said, "I believe he is not only a fine nominee, but is as good as Republicans can expect from this (the Clinton) administration. In fact, I would place him at the top of the list."

"I have no doubts that Garland would get a lot of [Senate] votes, and I will do my best to help him get them." Garland's confirmation to the appeals court passed the Senate by a vote of 76-23 with overwhelming bipartisan support (43 Democrats, 23 Republicans).

Sen. Hatch during a 2013 Senate Finance Committee hearing. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

More recently, Hatch told Conservative site Newsmax that he'd support Garland for the Supreme Court, but doubted President Obama would nominate someone so moderate.

"The president told me several times he’s going to name a moderate [to fill the court vacancy], but I don’t believe him," he told Newsmax. "[Obama] could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man. He probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election."

So what comes next for Merrick Garland? That's up to the Senate, who will hopefully at least hold confirmation hearings.

The Senate's role in confirming judges is that they are to offer "advice and consent." A tweet from Senator Mike Lee doesn't come with a whole lot of hope.


But hopefully cooler heads will prevail, and the Senate will take up their constitutional duty of working with the president to replace Justice Scalia. But as President Obama concluded today's announcement, "I have fulfilled my constitutional duty.Now it’s time for the Senate to do theirs."

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

The Hill/Twitter

It was a mere three weeks ago that President Biden announced that the U.S. would have enough vaccine supply to cover every adult American by the end of July. At the time, that was good news.

Today, he's bumped up that date by two full months.

That's great news.

In his announcement to the nation, Biden outlined the updated process for getting the country immunized against COVID-19.


Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

Keep Reading Show less
via ABC News

Julia Tinetti, 31, and Cassandra Madison, 32, first met in 2013 while working at The Russian Lady, a bar in New Haven, Connecticut, and the two immediately hit it off.

"We started hanging out together. We went out for drinks, dinner," Julia told "Good Morning America." "I thought she was cool. We hit it off right away," added Cassandra

The two also shared a strong physical resemblance and matching tattoos of the flag of the Dominican Republic. They had a bond that was so unique, even their coworkers thought there must be something more happening.

Keep Reading Show less