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Merrick Garland front running as next Justice of the Supreme Court

John Gizzi has the scoop on the Supreme Court pick over at Human Events.

Less than a week after Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he will retire from the Supreme Court this summer, the great guessing game among the Chattering Class in the media and on the Washington cocktail circuit began.“Who will succeed Stevens?” people in the know and out of it chorused over the weekend.  No one, of course, yet knows whom Barack Obama will select to fill the second vacancy on the High Court of his presidency.  But by Monday, the guessing game had come down to a “ Big Three” : U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, and U.S. Court of Appeals Judges Merrick Garland (D.C.) and Diane Wood (Chicago).For now, the odds favor the 57-year-old Garland, Harvard Law graduate and former Clinton Administration official.  Considered a liberal, although not as far left as Stevens, Garland nonetheless has offended few Republicans.  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), a past Judiciary Committee chairman, speaks highly of Garland and is considered likely to back him if he’s nominated.  Prominent in both national legal circles and on the Washington social scene, Garland first gained notice for doing much of the legal work after the Oklahoma City bombings in 1995. 

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