Bloomberg Law
June 16, 2016, 3:05 PM

From GCs with Love: A Letter for Chief Judge Merrick Garland

Elizabeth Olson
Elizabeth Olson
Special Correspondent

Editor’s Note: Below is a letter sent to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee from top lawyers at 44 U.S. companies, who called on the Senate to take up the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.

The Honorable Chuck Grassley


The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy

Ranking Member

Committee on the Judiciary

United States Senate

224 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510-6050

Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Leahy:

We write regarding Chief Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Each of us serves as the General Counsel of a major company doing business in the United States. Although we write in our personal capacities and not on behalf of our companies, we each believe that Chief Judge Garland’s nomination should be considered in normal order by the Committee because (i) his intellect, legal experience, and judicial temperament render him exceptionally well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court; and (ii) the business community has a great interest in avoiding the legal uncertainty that could result if the vacancy remains unfilled for an extended period of time.

First, Chief Judge Garland’s qualifications for the Court are outstanding and beyond dispute. His many years of private practice and government work before becoming a judge, including his tenure both as a federal prosecutor and as a senior official in the Department of Justice, are well-documented and demonstrate a first-class legal mind, great respect for the institutions of the law, and an enduring commitment to public service. He has served with distinction for 19 years on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the last three as Chief Judge. His track record as a jurist demonstrates a consistent commitment to and respect for legal precedent, judicial restraint, principled fairness, and intellectual honesty.

Second, the companies that employ us are representative of companies that conduct economic activity in the United States worth hundreds of billions of dollars and employ millions of people in cities and towns across the country. These companies depend on the certainty of timely judicial decisions to help us advise our management teams and employees and to provide clarity to our shareholders and the markets. The Supreme Court plays a vital role in this regard, frequently grantingcertiorariin cases involving important business issues such as intellectual property rights, labor and employment law, administrative law, securities law, and many other areas of great importance to those engaged in commercial activity. While these types of issues can sometimes be decided by a majority from among eight sitting justices, we are concerned about the uncertainties and delays to the impartial administration of justice that could arise if the Court is left without a tie-breaking ninth vote for an extended period of time.

Accordingly, we urge the Committee to schedule hearings as soon as reasonably practicable regarding Chief Judge Garland’s nomination.

We very much appreciate the Committee’s consideration of this letter.


Richard N. Baer Liberty Media Corporation

Sharon Barner Cummins Inc.

Marc Baum Serengeti Asset Management

Mark Brazeal SanDisk Corporation

Steven M. Cohen MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated

Christopher Crain Houlihan & Lokey

Jay Dubiner Authentic Brands Group

David Ellen Cablevision Systems Corp.

Samuel A. Flax American Capital Ltd.

Ivan Fong 3M

Adam Frankel Evercore

Lisa Beattie Frelinghuysen David Yurman Co.

Michael Fricklas Viacom Inc.

Jamie Gallagher AMC Networks

Lauren Goldberg VEREIT, Inc.

Horacio Gutierrez Spotify

Robert J. Ingato CIT Group Inc.

John Junek Ameriprise Financial

Ali Kazemi Squarespace, Inc.

Hilary Krane Nike

Seth Krauss WME/IMG

David Kris Intellectual Ventures

Brian Levey Upwork Inc.

John M. Liftin D. E. Shaw & Co, L.P.

Richard Lucas Walker & Dunlop Inc.

Lori J. Marco Hormel Foods Corporation

Sara Moss Estée Lauder

Michael C. Neus Perry Capital LLC

Amy Fliegelman Olli Avaya

Donald J. Rosenberg Qualcomm Inc.

Michael Rowles Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.

Sharon Ryan International Paper

Jacob Schatz Electronic Arts

Lori Schechter McKesson Corp.

Jonathan Schwartz Univision Communications Inc.

Nikhil Shanbhag Instacart

Audrey Strauss Alcoa Inc.

Richard P. Swanson York Capital Management

Julie Swidler Sony Music Entertainment

Melissa Tidwell Reddit, Inc.

Dana R. Wagner Square, Inc.

Laura H. Witte Cargill, Incorporated

Michael Yang Pinterest

Steven Zipperstein BlackBerry Ltd.*

*All company affiliations are listed for identification purposes only