The gauntlet has been thrown down. Late Wednesday morning, Barack Obama made the announcement, "Today, I am nominating Chief Judge Merrick Brian Garland to join the Supreme Court." Merrick Garland, 63 years old, is currently chief judge of the U.S Court of Appeals of D.C., where he's served since 1997. He has two degrees from Harvard, clerked for two appointees of Republican President Eisenhower, and he was a supervisor with the Justice department in 1995, when he helped put away the Oklahoma City Bomber.  

Former Secretary of Public Safety,  Andrea Cabral, Former Clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia,  Kevin Martin, and Suffolk University Law Professor,  Renee Landers, joined Jim on Wednesday night to discuss Garland's nomination. 

Obama highlighted Garland's track record today, as he challenged Republicans in the senate. "To suggest that someone who has served his country with honor and dignity, with a distinguished track record of delivering justice for the American people, might be treated as one Republican leader stated, as a political pinata, that can't be right," said Obama. Cabral called the Republican backlash "another attempt to thwart or nullify Obama's presidency." 

In his speech, Obama also went out of his way to single out one Republican who had spoken highly of his pick in the past. The longest serving GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch, said last week that Obama would "probably" not nominate Garland. "Obama "could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man," said Hatch. "But he probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election. So I'm pretty sure he'll name someone the [liberal Democratic base] wants" 

But he did pick Garland. And on Wednesday Hatch said, "The confirmation process regarding the Scalia vacancy will be deferred until after the election season is over." 

"The constitution says nothing about the Senate's internal procedures," said Martin. He recalled Obama's filibuster of Justice Alito, and said that the Senate has the right to vote no on a nominee, or not vote at all. 

Landers, who worked down the hall from Garland, said he will bring "warmth and empathy to the court," and called him a "normal human being." Normal human being or not, with the current political climate, his nomination may never get a vote.