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A 'Grand Slam' Nomination: President Obama Nominates Merrick Garland for the SCOTUS Bench

This morning, Merrick Garland stood at the podium in the Rose Garden, President Obama to his left, Vice President Biden to his right, and spoke of the honor of being nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"This is the greatest honor of my life - other than Lynn agreeing to marry me years ago. It's also the greatest gift I've ever received, except - and there's another caveat - the birth of our daughters Jessie and Becky. As my parents taught me by both words and deeds, a life of public service is as much a gift to the person who serves as it is to those he is serving. And for me there could be no higher public service than serving as a member of the United States Supreme Court."

Who is Merrick Garland?

Merrick Garland is the nominee - but he's more than that. Not only is he the jurist who would replace the late Antonin Scalia, but he's at the center of a political controversy regarding whether or not the Senate will vote to confirm him.

Following news that Obama had made a nomination, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his view that the American people - via the nation's next president - should have a voice in choosing Scalia's replacement.

Putting politics aside, Garland is a "grand slam" nomination, according to former Solicitor General Seth Waxman. As the Washington Post reports, Waxman said that Garland is "one of the most careful and thoughtful people you can imagine."

Oh, and there's one more thing going for him: Garland was born and raised in Chicagoland.

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