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Merrick Garland: 8 things to know about Obama’s Supreme Court nominee

Here we go. Since Antonin Scalia’s death last month, the nation has been abuzz with speculation as to how the Republican Congress will handle President Obama’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court opening — whoever he or she may be. Finally we have a name: Merrick Garland.

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Here’s what we know about the man who’s going to be at the center of what’s sure to be heated debate: 

1. He’s 63, which is considered a bit old, as most nominees are in the early 50s.

2. He was born and raised in the Chicago area and went to Harvard, both for his undergraduate degree and for law school. While in college, he worked summers as a shoe store stock clerk and reportedly helped to pay his tuition by selling his comic book collection.

3. He has spent most of his career in public service. As the principal associate deputy attorney general, he supervised the Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber cases. He has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1997 after being nominated by President Clinton. (Note: Justices Roberts, Ginsburg, Thomas and Scalia all also served on the D.C. appeals court.)

4. He has repeatedly been called brilliant and neutral and seems to have garnered bipartisan appeal over the years. When he was nominated for his current position on the D.C. appeals court, he had the support of 32 Republicans.

5. His views on abortion and other hot-button issues are not documented, though his views on gun control are considered liberal by some.

6. This isn’t his first rodeo. He has been on the short list for a Supreme Court nomination twice in past years. The seats he was being considered for were eventually filled by Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

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7. He’s Jewish. If confirmed, he will be the fourth Jewish U.S. Supreme Court justice.

8. He and his wife, Lynn, have been married since 1987 and live in Bethesda, Maryland. They have two daughters, both of whom graduated from Yale.

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