Former Clerks to Judge Garland React to Selection as Supreme Court Nominee
Describe Merrick Garland as "Brilliant and Balanced"
New York, March 16, 2016—Columbia Law School Professors David Pozen and Jessica Bulman-Pozen, both constitutional law experts who clerked for Judge Merrick B. Garland on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, offered the following comments about the selection of Judge Garland as President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
"As all of his former clerks can attest, Judge Garland is a model of judicial integrity, lawyerly craft, and personal decency. He is brilliant and balanced. I can't imagine anyone better qualified to serve on the Court, or better suited to be a consensus builder once there."
"Judge Garland is not only brilliant and exceptionally well qualified, but also an exemplar of fair-mindedness, integrity, and graciousness on the bench. In every case before him, he grapples with the strongest arguments for each side, and he is tireless in his search for the right answer. This is a great day for the United States."
The nomination of Garland, chief judge for the DC Circuit, faces a political standoff, as Senate Republicans refuse to hold confirmation hearings on any Supreme Court nomination by President Obama.
On the NY1 television show “Inside City Hall,” Columbia Law School Vice Dean and Professor of Law Jamal Greene (who did not clerk for Garland) discussed Judge Garland’s record as a “centrist” over 18 years in the D.C. Circuit. Greene also spoke to the political calculations behind the president’s pick and the Senate’s inaction:
“It’s never been the case that an elected president has been denied any kind of hearing or vote on a Supreme Court nominee. The last time a Republican nominee to the Court was blocked by the Senate was Robert Bork, back in 1987, and that was after a full hearing and a vote. The idea that you don’t even hold hearings or don’t even vote is unprecedented.”