President Barack Obama has nominated Merrick Garland for U.S. Supreme Court justice. Garland has served as a federal appeals court judge for nearly two decades. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Garland would replace conservative justice Antonin Scalia, who died last month.


Merrick Garland

The nomination faces a defiant Senate, where Republicans have vowed to disapprove Obama’s nominees for U.S. Supreme Court justice.

West central Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler is among many Republicans hoping to stall the process until after the presidential election, in hopes that a Republican president will choose a conservative justice.

“The next president is going to appoint potentially two or three new people to the Supreme Court,” said Hartzler. “That may be the most important issue of this whole election.”

In a statement today from U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) he said he will not vote in favor of Obama’s nominee.

“This is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. The president has every right to nominate someone, and the Senate has the Constitutional responsibility to decide if it’s the right person at the right time.”

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) today made the following statement on President Obama’s nomination:

“Judge Merrick Garland should receive a hearing as soon as practical so the Senate can determine if he is qualified to fill the vital opening on the Supreme Court. Missourians have spoken loud and clear that they want the Senate to do its job by vetting the nominee and taking a vote based on qualifications, not politics. As the vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, Senator Blunt should be a leader in ensuring his caucus fulfills its constitutional duty.”

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) said the appointment should not be political and the vacancy needs to be filled.

Four of the court’s justices were nominated by Republican presidents: Anthony Kennedy (Reagan), Clarence Thomas (George H.W. Bush), Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito (George W. Bush). President Bill Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, and Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.