Garland scheduled to return to the bench in January

Garland scheduled to return to the bench in January
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Merrick Garland, President Obama’s failed Supreme Court nominee, will return to his seat on the bench of a lower court next month.

Garland is scheduled to start hearing cases again on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where he serves as the chief judge, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, according to the court's schedule for oral arguments. Garland is scheduled to hear three cases with Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Sri Srinivasan.

It will be Garland’s first time back on the bench since he was nominated in May. Like many Supreme Court nominees, he chose not to hear cases during the confirmation process. Instead, he spent the last nine months doing administrative duties at the court.

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Republicans successfully blocked Garland from filling the vacancy left by the unexpected death of the court’s leading conservative justice, Antonin Scalia, in February.

Scalia’s death left the court evenly split, with four liberals and four conservatives, and Republicans claimed the new president should name his replacement.