According to the New York Times, President Barack Obama has nominated Merrick B. Garland as the nation's 113th Supreme Court justice, choosing a centrist appeals court judge for the lifetime appointment and daring Republican senators to refuse consideration of a jurist who is highly regarded throughout Washington. Like Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Garland comes from the powerful D.C. Circuit court. The president said Judge Garland is "widely recognized not only as one of America's sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even-handedness and excellence. The qualities and his long commitment to public service have earned him the respect and admiration from leaders from both sides of the aisle." Mr. Obama said it is tempting to make the confirmation process "an extension of our divided politics." But he warned that "to go down that path would be wrong." Mr. Obama demanded a fair hearing for Judge Garland and said that refusing to even consider his nomination would provoke "an endless cycle of more tit for tat" that would undermine the democratic process for years to come. Merrick B. Garland will serve in the seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in his sleep while on a hunting trip near Marfa, Texas.