President Obama said in an early morning announcement that he intends to announce his nominee to the Supreme Court at 11 am today. The pick, who will replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, has the chance to shape the Court’s ideology for a generation to come.
The announcement, which Obama will make in a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House, will be live-streamed at this link.
Though the president’s email did not name Obama’s pick, a list of the six candidates under consideration has leaked — and only one white man, Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the District of Columbia Circuit Court, made the list.
Obama’s nomination will kick off what is expected to be a months-long fight between the White House and the Republican-controlled Senate, which is refusing to so much as offer his nominee a Senate hearing.
"In putting forward a nominee today, I am fulfilling my constitutional duty. I’m doing my job," Obama said in the statement. "I hope that our Senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee. That is what the Constitution dictates, and that’s what the American people expect and deserve from their leaders."
Republicans say that since Obama has less than a year left in office, the ideological bent of the next Supreme Court justice — who will tilt the high court in whichever direction he or she leans — should mirror that of the next president. Both sides are using the issue to galvanize voters, framing the election as a referendum on the Court’s political ideology.