- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Former prosecutors, police, and victim advocates who worked on the Oklahoma City bombing praised Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland Tuesday for his management of the investigation in the mid-1990s.

“We are united today, as we were united two decades ago, in our respect and admiration for the integrity, brilliance, leadership, and judgment of Merrick Garland,” the nominee’s supporters told Senate leaders in a letter.

As a Justice Department official in 1995, Judge Garland was assigned to manage the bombing investigation. The domestic terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, carried out by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, killed 168 people and injured more than 600 others.

McVeigh was executed in 2001; Nicholas was sentenced to life imprisonment.

“Twenty years ago, the nation could not find a better lawyer to manage the investigation and prosecution of what was then the worst crime ever committed on American soil,” Judge Garland’s supporters wrote. “Today, our nation could not find a better judge, nor a more honorable man, to join its highest court.”

President Obama nominated Judge Garland, 63, chief judge of the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to fill the vacancy created by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republican leaders are refusing to hold a confirmation hearing, saying voters should have a voice in the matter by electing a new president to choose a nominee.

Judge Garland is meeting with five more senators this week, including Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. By this week, he will have met with 40 senators, including 10 Republicans, the White House said.

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