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

Who is Merrick Garland? Let's find out.

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."

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Women around the world are constantly bombarded by traditional and outdated societal expectations when it comes to how they live their lives: meet a man, get married, buy a home, have kids.

Many of these pressures often come from within their own families and friend circles, which can be a source of tension and disconnect in their lives.

Global skincare brand SK-II created a new campaign exploring these expectations from the perspective of four women in four different countries whose timelines vary dramatically from what their mothers, grandmothers, or close friends envision for them.

SK-II had Katie Couric meet with these women and their loved ones to discuss the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations.

SK-II

"What happens when dreams clash with expectations? We're all supposed to hit certain milestones: a degree, marriage, a family," Couric said before diving into conversation with the "young women who are defining their own lives while navigating the expectations of the ones who love them most."

Maluca, a musician in New York, explains that she comes from an immigrant family, which comes with the expectation that she should live the "American Dream."

"You come here, go to school, you get married, buy a house, have kids," she said.

Her mother, who herself achieved the "American Dream" with hard work and dedication when she came to the United States, wants to see her daughter living a stable life.

"I'd love for her to be married and I'd love her to have a big wedding," she said.

Chun Xia, an award-winning Chinese actress who's outspoken about empowering other young women in China, said people question her marital status regularly.

"I'm always asked, 'Don't you want to get married? Don't you want to start a family and have kids like you should at your age?' But the truth is I really don't want to at this point. I am not ready yet," she said.

In South Korea, Nara, a queer-identifying artist, believes her generation should have a choice in everything they do, but her mother has a different plan in mind.

SK-II

"I just thought she would have a job and meet a man to get married in her early 30s," Nara's mom said.

But Nara hopes she can one day marry her girlfriend, even though it's currently illegal in her country.

Her mother, however, still envisions a different life for her daughter. "Deep in my heart, I hope she will change her mind one day," she said.

Maina, a 27-year-old Japanese woman, explains that in her home country, those who aren't married by the time they're 25 to 30, are often referred to as "unsold goods."

Her mom is worried about her daughter not being able to find a boyfriend because she isn't "conventional."

"I really want her to find the right man and get married, to be seen as marriage material," she said.

After interviewing the women and their families, Couric helped them explore a visual representation of their timelines, which showcased the paths each woman sees her life going in contrast with what her relatives envision.

SK-II

"For each young woman, two timelines were created. One represents the expectations. The other, their aspirations," Couric explained. "There's often a disconnect between dreams and expectations. But could seeing the difference lead to greater understanding?"

The women all explored their timelines, which included milestones like having "cute babies," going back to school, not being limited by age, and pursuing dreams.

By seeing their differences side-by-side, the women and their families were able to partake in more open dialogue regarding the expectations they each held.

One of the women's mom's realized her daughter was lucky to be born during a time when she has the freedom to make non-traditional choices.

SK-II

"It looks like she was born in the right time to be free and confident in what she wants to do," she said.

"There's a new generation of women writing their own rules, saying, 'we want to do things our way,' and that can be hard," Couric explained.

The video ends with the tagline: "Forge your own path and choose the life you want; Draw your own timeline."

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