President Barack Obama has announced his nomination for a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Obama nominated Marrick Garland, the chief judge for the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit, for Supreme Court in the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday morning. The nomination comes after Scalia’s death in February.
Garland, 63, if confirmed, will be the oldest justice to join the Supreme Court since 1972. Garland was the leading contender for the last vacancy in 2010.
Garland called Obama’s nomination an honor and a gift.
“This is the greatest honor of my life — other than Lynn agreeing to marry me 28 years ago,” Garland said. “It’s also the greatest gift I’ve ever received except — and there’s another caveat — the birth of our daughters, Jessie and Becky.”
Since Scalia’s death, controversy has surrounded the possibility of Obama making a nomination during an election year. Senate, which is predominantly Republican and holds the power of accepting Obama’s nomination, vow that it will not accept any of his appointments.
“As president, it is both my constitutional duty to nominate a justice and one of the most important decisions that I — or any president — will make,” Obama said in an email that was sent out to press prior to the announcement. “This is a responsibility I do not take lightly.”
Obama continued his position during Wednesday’s Rose Garden ceremony.
“I have fulfilled my constitutional duty,” Obama said. “Now, it’s time for the Senate to do theirs. Presidents do not stop working in the final year of their term. Neither should a senator.”