Web Video: Pete Williams in 2010: Merrick Garland the "safer choice"

Mar. 16, 2016 AT 5:11 p.m. EDT

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MS. IFILL: There are some people who also say that what President Obama has done is basically nominate himself to the court. So the same kind of background, the same -- University of Chicago, Harvard Law School, the same kind of interest in mediating and finding the middle on bringing sides together. Is there anything to that?

MR. WILLIAMS: I think there is something to that. And to look at the other people that we thought were the finalists, the people that he interviewed, if he wanted an even safer choice it probably would have been Merrick Garland, a federal judge here in Washington. Elena Kagan is sort of in the middle, and then there was amore liberal choice -- two more liberal choices really, Sydney Thomas from Montana and Diane Wood from Chicago. He did choose more of a centrist. And I suppose you can say that's more of what Barack Obama is.

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