HRC: Garland is highly qualified candidate

The nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization welcomed the nomination of Merrick Garland, calling him highly qualified for the U.S. Supreme Court.

‘Highly qualified’ candidate

“Americans deserve a full Supreme Court bench and President Obama’s nominee deserves a hearing. There is no doubt that Merrick Garland is a highly qualified candidate and the Senate has a constitutional responsibility to give him swift and fair consideration,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “The Supreme Court has a sacred responsibility to uphold the rights of all citizens, and we must hold accountable any politicians who tamper with our nation’s highest court for their own gain.”

Garland, who has served on the federal bench and in public service for almost 25 years, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1997. He currently serves as the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  After graduating from Harvard University and Harvard Law School, Garland served as a judicial clerk for Henry Friendly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan.

HRC said it would continue to examine Garland’s record on issues affecting the LGBT community and looked forward to the Senate’s examination.

garland highly qualified
Merrick Garland. — PHOTO: Courtesy

The organization’s statement said “HRC fully hopes that in Judge Garland, we will find another well-qualified justice who will uphold the Constitution and rule fairly on issues important to the LGBT community.”

Last month HRC joined a coalition of 82 organizations in condemning Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for obstruction of the U.S. Supreme Court nomination process.

On the day of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, Republican leadership announced they would not even holding a hearing for the president’s nominee. Also, the Republican National Committee launched a special task force dedicated to blocking any efforts to fill the vacancy.

Next week, on March 21, HRC will participate in the #DoYourJob National Day of Action along with allied advocacy organizations. The campaign is focused on pushing senators to hold a hearing on the nomination.