Merrick Garland returns to alma mater Niles West on May 29

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FILE - In this April 14, 2016 file photo, Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, arrives for a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. This week marks 21 years since the bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. It’s a case that was a defining moment in the career of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. At the time of the bombing, Garland was 42 years old and a top lieutenant to Attorney General Janet Reno. He was chosen to go to Oklahoma City, the highest-ranking Justice Department official there, and led the prosecution for about a month until a permanent lead prosecutor was named. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) ORG XMIT: WX104

WASHINGTON – The White House gave the scoop to the students at Niles West High School: Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland, who graduated from the Skokie school in 1970 will be the “distinguished speaker” on May 29 when he returns to address the class of 2016, the White House said on Thursday.

Niles West News reporters Grace Geraughty and Katrina Nickell wrote in their scoop about how the Niles West principal made a cold-call to extend an invite to Garland to return to his alma mater.

“Garland’s visit marks the first time there will be a distinguished speaker at Niles West’s graduation ceremony, according to principal Jason Ness, who had the idea to bring Garland back as a graduation speaker.

“After the announcement at the White House [where Garland was nominated], we were thinking about what a good forum would be to connect with Judge Garland and bring him back home to Niles West,” Ness said.”

The Obama White House is mounting a campaign to pressure Senate Republicans to give Garland a hearing and a vote. Senate GOP leaders vowed to block any name President Barack Obama submitted to the Senate to fill the vacancy created by the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Garland was born in Chicago and raised in Lincolnwood. The graduation will take place on the football field of the school.

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