President Barack Obama is poised to announce his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court at the White House today, setting the stage for a potentially ferocious political showdown with Senate Republicans who have pledged to bar anyone Obama selects. Obama said in a statement released by the White House that he will unveil his nominee at 11 a.m. in the White House Rose Garden. He is likely to announce one of two federal appeals court judges, Sri Srinivasan (U.S. Deputy Solicitor General) or Merrick Garland (of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit), as his choice.
The Indian-born Srinivasan, 49, would be the first Asian-American and first Hindu Supreme Court justice. Garland, 63, is a long-time appellate judge and former prosecutor who Obama also considered when he filled two previous Supreme Court vacancies.
Obama has been searching for a replacement for long-serving conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13. Without Scalia, the nine-member Supreme Court is evenly split with four liberals and four conservative justices. Obama's nominee could tilt the court to the left for the first time in decades.
UPDATE: Obama has announced that Merrick Garland is his nominee for the vacant spot on the Supreme Court.