Merrick Garland Fast Facts

Here’s a look at the life of Merrick Garland, Supreme Court nominee and former chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.


Birth date: November 13, 1952
Birth place: Chicago, Illinois
    Birth name: Merrick Brian Garland
    Father: Cyril Garland, founder of an advertising agency
    Mother: Shirley (Horwitz) Garland, community volunteer
    Marriage: Lynn (Rosenman) Garland (1987-present)
    Children: Jessica, 1992; Rebecca, 1990
    Education: Harvard University, A.B., 1974, graduated summa cum laude; Harvard Law School, J.D., 1977, graduated magna cum laude
    Religion: Jewish

    Other Facts

    Garland supervised the investigation of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and oversaw the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh. He also led the investigations of the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta and the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.
    He paid for law school by working in a shoe store, selling his comic books and tutoring undergraduates.
    He was a candidate for the Supreme Court twice before President Barack Obama nominated him, considered for seats ultimately filled by Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
    Tutors elementary school children in reading and math.


    1977-1978 – Clerks for Second Circuit Judge Henry Friendly.
    1978-1979 – Clerks for US Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan.
    1979-1981 – Special Assistant to the Attorney General.
    1981-1989 – Joins the law firm Arnold & Porter as an associate and is promoted to partner in 1985.
    1989-1992 – Assistant US Attorney for the District of Columbia.
    1992-1993 – Returns to Arnold & Porter as partner.
    1993-1994 – Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.
    1994-1997 – Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General.
    1997-present – Appointed by President Bill Clinton, Garland serves on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. It took more than a year for Garland to be confirmed in the Senate, as lawmakers questioned whether the vacant seat on the court should be filled at all.
    2013 – Becomes chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.
    March 16, 2016 – Obama nominates Garland to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. For months, Senate Republicans refuse to hold confirmation hearings.
      January 3, 2017 – Garland’s nomination expires. He returns to his position as chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.
      February 13, 2020 – Garland steps down as chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Sri Srinivasan takes over as chief judge.




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