Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is seen in an undated handout picture.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Barack Obama will nominate appellate court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the White House confirmed, emphasizing his readiness for the job and history of support from Republicans and Democrats.
"No one is better suited to immediately serve on the Supreme Court," a White House official said.
"Chief Justice John Roberts, Garland's colleague on the DC Circuit, once said that 'anytime Judge Garland disagrees, you know you're in a difficult area,'" the official added.
Republicans in the Senate have vowed to block any nominee to replace Scalia, saying the next justice should be chosen by Obama's successor.
But Obama may have found a candidate lawmakers will find hard to ignore.
A former prosecutor, Garland is viewed as a moderate… with a history of drawing Republican support.
And at 63 he's older than the typical Supreme Court nominee, which might also entice Senate Republicans into considering his nomination.
Garland served in the Justice Dept under former President Bill Clinton, who appointed him to his current post.
He is the third Justice nominated by Obama since the president took office.