Senator Stabenow Meets with Supreme Court Nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland

Meeting Occurred on 21st Anniversary of Oklahoma City Bombing; Garland Oversaw the Prosecution as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow met with President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Chief Judge Merrick Garland. Following the meeting, Stabenow called Judge Garland an eminently qualified Supreme Court nominee and urged Senate Republicans to do their job by holding a public hearing and a vote on his nomination.

“Today I had the privilege of meeting personally with Chief Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court. We had a very productive conversation about his judicial approach and philosophy and his decades of experience as a judge and prosecutor. I also had an opportunity to ask about his work at the Justice Department overseeing the investigation and prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing. His commitment to justice for the victims was remarkable and had a lasting impact on his life’s work. I am confident Judge Garland is a highly qualified Supreme Court nominee and that he would be an outstanding U.S. Supreme Court justice.

“The Senate has a Constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on Judge Garland’s nomination through a fair confirmation process. I join the overwhelming majority of Americans in calling for a public hearing and vote on Judge Garland’s nomination. It’s time for Senate Republicans to do their job.”

Merrick Garland is a highly-respected and experienced jurist, who has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, supervised major cases at the Department of Justice like the prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing, and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Brennan. President Clinton nominated Garland and he was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 1997.

On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring 500. Garland demanded that he be sent to Oklahoma City to begin the investigation. He led the investigation and supervised the prosecution that brought Timothy McVeigh, and his accomplice Terry Nichols, to justice.

Since hearings began in 1916, every pending Supreme Court nominee has received a hearing, except nine nominees who were all confirmed within 11 days of their nomination. Not since the Civil War has the Senate taken longer than a year to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.

The Senate has confirmed Supreme Court Justices in the final year of a presidency, and has done so more than a dozen times.  Most recently, Justice Kennedy was confirmed in the last year of President Reagan’s final term, and the Democratically-controlled Senate confirmed him unanimously.