The New York Times on Wednesday reported that United States President Barack Obama will nominate Merrick B Garland as the next justice of the country’s Supreme Court. The 63-year-old is the chief judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and is respected across party lines.

A Wall Street Journal report quoted a statement by a White House official who said, “No one is better suited to immediately serve on the Supreme Court. Throughout his career, Chief Judge Garland has shown a rare ability to bring people together and has earned the respect of everyone he has worked with.”

Republicans have held that Obama should not pick a Supreme Court nominee as his term is to end soon. Senator Charles E Grassley, Republican of Iowa, had strongly argued that the next president should select the successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly in February. Earlier, the US president had said he would put forth a candidate who is “not only eminently qualified to be a Supreme Court justice, but deserves a fair hearing, and an up-or-down vote.”