Merrick Garland has been a federal judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals since 1997. Prior to his tenure on the court, Judge Garland served as a prosecutor in the criminal division of the Justice Department.
A SeaWorld orca killed a trainer during a performance in 2010. The appeals court is being asked to decide if restrictions imposed by OSHA on orca-human contact are a sensible safety measure or unfair curtailment of SeaWorld's main attraction.
The Supreme Court declined without comment the case of 250 former Abu Ghraib detainees whose lawsuit against private contractors, for allegedly abusing and torturing Abu Ghraib inmates, had been thrown out of federal court.
If confirmed, Elena Kagan will become the sixth former Supreme Court law clerk to become a justice later in life. Much of the work behind the scenes in the Supreme Court is done by these brilliant recent graduates.
President Obama and Vice President Biden separately interviewed Diane Wood, a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, on Tuesday for an opening on the Supreme Court. Judge Wood is the fourth candidate known to have had face-to-face talks with the president.
President Obama interviewed Judge Diane Wood of Illinois Tuesday for the pending US Supreme Court opening.
President Obama met Wednesday with key senators of both parties to discuss the nomination and confirmation process of a Supreme Court justice to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
Confirmation of Supreme Court nominees has not always been so contentious. But with the defeat of Robert Bork in 1987, nominees' political positions as well as their judicial qualifications have been probed. This will likely be the case in replacing retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
Replacing retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens depends largely on who President Obama nominates. But given Obama's political standing these days, confirmation by the Senate is unlikely to be quick and easy.