LDF Releases Report on the Nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the United States Supreme Court

With the United States Senate set to return from its recess on Monday, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) has released a comprehensive report examining the civil rights record of Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, who President Obama has nominated to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Our careful study reveals that Judge Garland is highly qualified to serve as a justice of the Supreme Court. He maintains a steadfast respect for the doctrinal and technical contours of the law, forges narrow, carefully reasoned opinions, and builds consensus. 

Consistent with LDF’s practice to review the record of Supreme Court nominees to understand their views and positions on civil rights issues, LDF has conducted a thorough assessment of Judge Garland’s record, focusing on his work as a prosecutor, private practitioner, and federal judge. Given Judge Garland’s nineteen years on the federal bench, he has written opinions or participated in several hundred appellate decisions.

In preparing this report, LDF reviewed Judge Garland’s judicial record, with a particular focus on the cases and constitutional issues of import for civil rights and the promise of equal protection for all. This process entailed analyzing all of his written opinions and dissents that bear on issues of employment and housing discrimination, criminal justice, voting rights, and access to the courts – as well as his votes in cases in which other judges authored the decision. 

LDF also evaluated Judge Garland’s legal record from his work in private practice, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and in his other positions at the U.S. Department of Justice. Additionally, LDF conducted research into Judge Garland’s publications and speeches, personal background, and work outside of the law.

Judge Garland’s experience and credentials underscore the importance of a full review by the Senate on behalf of the American people. LDF calls upon the Senate once again to hold a prompt hearing, and thereafter a vote on the confirmation of Judge Garland as soon as is practicable.  


New York Times: Jeffrey Rosen, Judge Garland’s Nomination, Day 126 (Jul. 2 2016)


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.