NBC News reports:
President Obama has made up his mind. The president will announce his nominee to the Supreme Court at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, just over a month after the death of conservative jurist Antonin Scalia left a vacancy on the bench.
“I’ve devoted a considerable amount of time and deliberation to this decision,” Obama said in a statement. “I’ve consulted with legal experts and people across the political spectrum, both inside and outside government. And we’ve reached out to every member of the Senate, who each have a responsibility to do their job and take this nomination just as seriously.”
“This is a responsibility I do not take lightly,” the president added, echoing a similar statement he made in a February blog post in which he laid out his requirements for a nominee.
“In putting forward a nominee today, I am fulfilling my constitutional duty. I’m doing my job,” Obama said Wednesday. “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.”
Reuters has the two final candidates:
Obama is likely to announce one of two federal appeals court judges, Sri Srinivasan or Merrick Garland, as his choice, a source familiar with the selection process told Reuters. Both Srinivasan and Garland are seen as having unique attributes that could weigh heavily in Obama’s decision.
Srinivasan, 49, and Garland, 63, serve together on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That appeals court has served as a springboard to the Supreme Court for several justices including Scalia in recent decades.
Srinivasan, who was born in India and grew up in Kansas, would be the first Asian-American and first Hindu on the high court. Obama appointed him to the appeals court in 2013. The Senate confirmed him in a 97-0 vote.
Garland, who has earned praise from lawmakers of both parties, is the chief judge of the Washington appeals court, where he has served since being appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1997, winning confirmation in a 76-23 vote. Prior to that, he served in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration.
With Senate Republicans vowing to turn their backs on anyone he picks to fill the vacancy, Obama may be looking for a nominee who could convince the Republicans to change course. Garland could fit that bill with moderate record, background as a prosecutor and a history of drawing Republican support.
Follow along to get the facts on his nominee & the nomination process in the Senate.
— SCOTUS Nomination (@SCOTUSnom) March 16, 2016