The Honorable Merrick B. Garland


Current Position: Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Years Legal Experience: 18
Home state: Illinois


The Honorable Merrick B. Garland

As one of the best appellate judges in the country, Chief Judge Merrick Garland is the most qualified person to immediately serve on the Supreme Court.

He currently serves as Chief Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C., a court to which he was confirmed with majority support from both parties in the U.S. Senate in 1997. Now presiding as Chief Judge, Judge Garland has more federal judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in history. Born and raised in Illinois and a devoted family man, Judge Garland has dedicated his life to serving the American people, taking on some of the most difficult anti-terrorism cases in our nation’s history. In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, he led the investigation and prosecution that ultimately brought Timothy McVeigh to justice. As a mentor to his law clerks and a tutor to elementary school children, he is a dedicated and compassionate public servant who conservatives and progressives praise for his rigorous intellect, his respect for the role of the judiciary, and his mastery of the law.

Here are some brief facts that give an overview of Chief Judge Garland’s record and credentials:

  • Oversaw some of the most important federal criminal cases in recent history, including the prosecutions of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols for the Oklahoma City bombing as well as the government’s responses to the Unabomber and the Montana Freemen
  • Took steps as a government attorney to ensure proper respect for the rights of criminal defendants, helping develop policies that require prosecutors to conduct an individual assessment of each case when making charging decisions, rather than just charging with the most serious offense possible
  • Was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit in 1997 with strong bipartisan support from a majority of both parties in the U.S. Senate
  • Distinguished himself as a jurist who decides every case based on what the law requires, stating, “The role of the court is to apply the law to the facts of the case before it”
  • Known as a meticulous jurist with a skill for building consensus, an approach that has earned him bipartisan support throughout his career
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