President Barack Obama has announced he is nominating veteran appeals court judge Merrick Garland to be the next US Supreme Court Justice.

The Supreme Court vacancy follows the death of Antonin Scalia last month.

Judge Garland, age 63, is viewed as a moderate and has won praise from senior Republican figures.

According to BBC News, the appointment has to be ratified by the Senate, but its Republican majority earlier vowed to block a vote on any Supreme Court nominee from Mr. Obama.

Republicans have called on Mr. Obama to leave the nomination to his successor, who will be elected in November.

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