He won coveted traineeships with Henry J. Friendly, a federal appeals judge, and Judge William J. Brennan Jr. He moved between prestigious jobs in the private and public sectors before ending up at the Justice Department, where Ms. Gorelick worked as her deputy.
Judge Garland and his 33-year-old wife, Lynn Garland, live in the suburbs of Bethesda, Md., Washington. Its 2020 financial disclosure forms list assets ranging from $ 8.6 million to $ 32.9 million, including trust funds set up by Ms. Garland’s parents. He maintains a large collection of friends, is familiar at dinners and parties in Washington, and talks about his former employees.
A former employee, Karen Dunn, now a Washington attorney, recalls the Garlands unexpectedly descending on her with a fully cooked dinner when she came home from the hospital after giving birth to their first child. “They brought food, sat down and ate it with us, cleaned everything up, and then left,” recalled Ms. Dunn.
Judge Garland is now awaiting Senate confirmation, probably not his favorite combination of words given the story. However, his nomination is not expected to face any serious opposition. Several Republican senators did whatever that is worth at the time they said their blockade of Judge Garland’s 2016 Supreme Court nomination was “not personal.” (Not much for friends.)
On Friday, a large, non-partisan group of former Justice Department officials and former federal judges sent two letters to Senate leaders urging Judge Garland’s swift confirmation. Among them were four former attorneys general: Alberto R. Gonzales and Michael B. Mukasey, who served in the George W. Bush administration, and Eric H. Holder Jr. and Loretta Lynch, who served in the Obama administration. The group also included Ken Starr, the independent attorney in the Whitewater investigation.
At least, friends said, an attorney general would free Judge Garland from the reputation purgatory defined by his Supreme Court review. “It’s interesting how fate works,” said J. Gilmore Childers, attorney and colleague with the Oklahoma City Department of Justice. “Merrick Garland could be the perfect person to do this job right now.”