Garland, Merrick Brian, 1952–, American government official and judge, b. Chicago, grad. Harvard (A.B. 1974, J.D. 1977). He was special assistant to the U.S. attorney general (1979–81), a lawyer in private practice (1981–89, 1992–93), and assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia (1989–92). In the U.S. Dept. of Justice's criminial division (1993–97), he supervised the prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber cases. In 1997 he was appointed to the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; he was the court's chief judge from 2013 to 2020. Regarded as a judicial moderate with an ability to build consensus, he was nominated by President Obama to the Supreme Court after Antonin Scalia's death (Feb., 2016), but Congressional Republicans refused to consider his appointment and called for the next president to fill the vacancy. In 2021, President Biden nominated Garland to be attorney general.
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