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Obama Will Visit UChicago Law To Stump For Supreme Court Nom

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Apr 1, 2016 3:00PM

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) stands with Judge Merrick B. Garland, while nominating him to the US Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. Garland currently serves as the chief judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and if confirmed by the US Senate, would replace Antonin Scalia who died suddenly last month. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama is returning to his Hyde Park hometown next week to stump for his Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

Obama will speak at the University of Chicago Law School, where he taught in the '90s, in a "town-hall style conversation" with students and faculty, according to the Sun-Times. It will be his first public event on this subject since he nominated Garland last month.

Obama is looking at an uphill battle against Republican senate leaders to get Garland appointed to the Supreme Court, which has a vacancy due to the Feb. 13 death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Though Obama has nearly a year left in his second-term as president, Republicans in the senate have threatened to block any Supreme Court nominee until Obama is out of office.

Perhaps surprisingly, opposition to Garland's nomination isn't coming from Illinois; Republican Senator Mark Kirk, who is up for re-election this year, became the first Republican senator to meet with Garland earlier this week. He told reporters he "would consider" voting in favor of Garland's approval.

A White House spokeswoman told the Sun-Times that Obama would discuss Garland's qualifications for the job and the need for him to be approved "as quickly as possible." Garland is coincidentally a Chicagoland native. he graduated from Niles West High School in 1970 before attending college and law school at Harvard University, and both of his parents have degrees from the University of Chicago.