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Merrick Garland

SCOTUS, Merrick Garland, Credits Grandparents For Success

According to Gil Ronen of Israelnationalnews.com, President Barack Obama’s new Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, currently the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, emotionally credited his Jewish grandparents for his success.

“My family deserves much of the credit for the path that led me here. My grandparents left the Pale of Settlement at the border of western Russia and Eastern Europe in the early 1900s, fleeing anti-Semitism and hoping to make a better life for their children in America,” he said, choking up Wednesday morning in the White House Rose Garden as he accepted the nomination.

Born to a Jewish mother and a Protestant father, Garland was raised Jewish.

According to JTA, Garland said his father, who ran a business from the basement of his family home, taught him the “importance of hard work and fair dealing,” while his mother’s volunteerism taught him the value of community service.

“For me there can be no higher public service than serving as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Garland. “This is the greatest honor of my life other than Lynn agreeing to marry me 28 years ago. It’s also the greatest gift I’ve ever received, except, and there’s another caveat, the birth of our daughters, Jessie and Becky.”

If confirmed, Garland would be the fourth Jewish justice on the Supreme Court, which is comprised entirely of Jews and Catholics.

Merrick GarlandLike five current justices as well as the late Antonin Scalia, who he would replace, Garland attended Harvard Law School. Like Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor, he’s a former prosecutor. Like Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas andRuth Bader Ginsburg, he comes from the powerful D.C. Circuit court.

USA reported that Garland isn’t even the first Supreme Court nominee to earn undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, clerk for Judge Henry Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, work at the Justice Department, become a partner at a major Washington, D.C., law firm, and serve on the D.C. Circuit . Roberts did all that.

In his brief Rose Garden remarks Wednesday, a choked-up Garland described his early years as a federal prosecutor, seeking to convince scared mothers and grandmothers to testify against violent gang members.

“Trust that justice will be done in our courts — without prejudice or partisanship — is what in large part distinguishes this country from others,” he said. His job then as now, he said, was to ensure that “the rule of law would prevail.”



Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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