What’s ahead for Judge Merrick Garland

FILE - In this May 1, 2008 file photo, Judge Merrick B. Garland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is pictured before the start of a ceremony at the federal courthouse in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(WLNS) – While Judge Merrick Garland has President Obama’s seal of approval whether or not he becomes a Supreme Court justice lies in the hands of the U.S. Senate and the process is only just beginning.

What’s the next step for Judge Garland?

It’s ultimately up to the Senate to decide whether the president’s pick will serve the United States well.

But history could repeat itself and the Senate could vote the selection down.

From 1789 to 2007 36 nominees have failed to be get the Senate’s nod of approval.

The steps in selecting a Supreme Court Justice:

First, the Senate Judiciary Committee will send the nominee a questionnaire.

The questions that are asked revolve around the nominees financial records, employment information, writings and speeches.

Then a hearing will be held by the committee on the nomination to see if it’s a good selection.

Finally, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to send the nominee to the full Senate for a vote to either approve or reject.

Even after receiving the green light from the Senate Judiciary Committee the nominee can’t sit in late Justice Scalia’s seat just yet. The process is only half-way completed.

After the committee sends it to the whole Senate for a vote the voting isn’t done right away.

The Senate holds it’s own hearing and will debate the nomination with the chairman of the Judiciary Committee leading those hearings.

The debating among the Senate usually takes less than a week before the final process, which is a full Senate vote.

Once a majority of the senators give the “ok” the nominee will go directly over to the White House to be sworn in by the chief justice.

The whole process from President Obama announcing the nominee’s name to being sworn in usually takes 2-1/2 months.

A long process? Maybe. But that long process is to ensure liberty and justice for all.

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