(POLITICO) President Barack Obama was fired up.
He had just revealed his Supreme Court nominee in the Rose Garden, and as he began his next meeting with progressive legal activists in the Roosevelt Room, he couldn’t stop rhapsodizing about his choice to cap his judicial legacy. Merrick Garland was Obama’s kind of judge—a meritocrat with two Harvard degrees who had served 18 years on America’s second-highest court; a mensch who tutored inner-city kids and had just wept while discussing his family; and a moderate cited by Republican leaders as the kind of non-controversial, non-ideological judge Obama ought to pick for the Court.
Now the Republicans were vowing to block anyone Obama picked, and the president loved the idea of calling their bluff with their own recommended candidate. He knew Garland’s chances of slipping past the GOP blockade were slim, but he figured they were better than anyone else’s.
Advertisement - story continues below