Merrick Brian Garland (born November 13, 1952) is an American lawyer and jurist who is the 86th and current United States attorney general. He previously served as a United States circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1997 to 2021. Garland was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Barack Obama in 2016, but his confirmation was effectively blocked by the Republican-led Senate. A native of the Chicago area, Garland attended Harvard University and Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review. He served as a law clerk to Judge Henry Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and to U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr., and then practiced corporate litigation at Arnold & Porter, after which he worked as a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice, where he supervised the investigation and prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombers. President Bill Clinton appointed Garland to the D.C. Court of Appeals in 1997, and he served as its chief judge from 2013 to 2020. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, nominated Garland to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in March 2016 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia. However, the Republican Senate majority refused to hold a hearing or vote on his nomination. The unprecedented refusal of a Senate majority to consider a Supreme Court nomination was highly controversial. Garland's nomination lasted 293 days (the longest to date), and it expired on January 3, 2017, at the end of the 114th Congress.
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