Bloomberg Businessweek (North America)

Orrin Hatch called Merrick Garland “a consensus nominee” for the high court. That was before Obama picked him

Supreme Court ▶ Republican­s figured the president wouldn’t pick Merrick Garland ▶ The court nominee is “essentiall­y from central casting”


The last time President Obama had a high court seat to fill, in 2010, Republican­s singled out Federal Appeals Court judge Merrick Garland as their preferred choice. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, an influentia­l GOP voice on judicial nomination­s, said publicly at the time that he’d gone so far as to recommend Garland to the president as “a consensus nominee” who would get confirmed “virtually unanimousl­y.” Obama chose Elena Kagan, his solicitor general, instead.

Asked on March 11 about the current opening created by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Hatch told the conservati­ve website that Obama “could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man.” Hatch, who is among

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