Obama nominates Merrick Garland to Supreme Court

Earlier today, President Obama nominated federal Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. The 63 year old is described as a moderate, with a distinguished record which includes a position on the U.S Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia and served in the Departmaent of Justice, overseeing the notorious Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Obama in his adress in the White House's rose garden praised Garland for his credentials and his reputation as one of the country's excellent "legal minds" who brings with him a spirit of integrity and justice. The selection of a known centrist may signal a compromise with the Republicans, however the president still has the capacity to create a more liberal supreme court before his term ends.

The battle for the control over the supreme court has been the new scene of contention between Republicans and Democrats/Obama. At a time when Republicans, who are in the minority, had stopped Obama's judicial and executive branch nominations, the Democrats made a change to Senate rules which allowed nominations with a majority vote as opposed to the election of a nominee that needed to have more than 60 votes. Obama has signalled a warning to the Republican party over political influence in the independent judicial system, which could threaten the integrity of the judiciary.