Report: Top EPA Attorney Backs Garland, Citing Pro-Environmental Record

Merrick Garland
Merrick Garland / AP

EPA General Counsel Avi Garbow praised President's Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, touting his record of protecting environmental regulations, according to a newly released email.

Garbow called Garland "imminently qualified± and underscored his role in upholding far-reaching restrictions on air and water pollutants, the Washington Examiner reported Monday.

The email, obtained through a FOIA request by America Rising, was sent after White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough announced to government officials that the president would nominate Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

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"By so many accounts, Chief Judge Garland is eminently qualified and will be an exceptional nominee," Garbow wrote in the email. "He also happened to be on the panel that both upheld [Mercury and Air Toxic Standards] prior to [Supreme Court] review, and also voted for remand without vacatur more recently."

Garland, who is the chief judge of the U.S. District Court of Appeals, ruled to keep intact the Mercury and Air Toxic standards while the EPA was rewriting the regulations to adhere to changes demanded by the Supreme Court.

Jeremy Adler, communications director for American Rising Advanced Research, told the Washington Examiner that the email from Garbow illustrates political motivations behind Obama's pick.

"It's no surprise that the EPA would do cartwheels after hearing about Merrick Garland's nomination because they know he will be a reliable vote in favor of more burdensome regulations and energy policies that crush the private sector," Adler said.

He suggested that Senate Republicans block the federal judge to avert cementing a "liberal majority" in the nation's highest court.