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Obama picks centrist high court nominee; Republicans unmoved

Updated: 2016-03-17 08:59


Standing in between Obama and Vice President Joe Biden during the Rose Garden ceremony, an emotional Garland referred to the Oklahoma City bombing case, saying, "Once again, I saw the importance of assuring victims and families that the justice system could work."

Obama said he fulfilled his constitutional duty by naming a nominee and said it was time for the Senate to do its job. "Presidents do not stop working in the final year of their term. Neither should a senator," Obama said.

Obama, in office since 2009, has already named two justices to the Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor, who at 55 became the first Hispanic justice in 2009, and Elena Kagan, who was 50 when she became the fourth woman ever to serve on the court in 2010.

Democrats praised his latest choice.

"If Merrick Garland can't get bipartisan support no one can," Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York said.

Hillary Clinton called Garland "a brilliant legal mind," urging the Senate to move ahead with the confirmation process.

Trump said it was critical for Republicans to take back the White House to avoid Democrats shaping the Supreme Court for decades to come.


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