President Obama to nominate Merrick Garland to Supreme Court

FILE - In this May 1, 2008, file photo, Judge Merrick B. Garland is seen at the federal courthouse in Washington. In his search for a Supreme Court nominee, President Barack Obama is zeroing in on a small group of appellate court judges whose bipartisan credentials and traditional judicial pedigree the White House hopes will increase pressure on Republicans vowing to block whomever Obama nominates in an election year. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will nominate federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, congressional sources said Wednesday. The pick sets up a confrontation with Republicans who say they will refuse to consider his nomination in an election year.

Garland is the chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a court whose influence over federal policy and national security matters has made it a proving ground for potential Supreme Court justices.

He would replace conservative, Justice Antonin Scalia, who died unexpectedly last month, leaving behind a bitter election-year fight over the future of the court.

Congressional sources spoke on condition of anonymity because Obama had not yet announced his choice.

Garland was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit in 1997 with backing from a majority in both parties, including seven current Republicans senators.

Obama planned to introduce his pick at 11 a.m. in the White House Rose Garden.

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