Merrick B. Garland, President’s Obama’s nominee to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat left open by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February, has a history of giving deference to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in clean air and other environmental cases and has sided more often with EPA than industry, according to SCOTUSblog, which analyzes high court cases.
Some environmental groups have hailed the nomination. League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski praised Garland’s “impeccable qualifications.”
But Garland, whose nomination Obama announced on March 16, faces a difficult confirmation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other GOP senators are holding firm on their vow to not hold a hearing on any Obama Supreme Court nominee until after the presidential election.
President Clinton nominated Garland to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the Senate confirmed him in 1997. Garland has been that court’s chief judge since 2013.