Merrick Garland

Garland in 2016, from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Birth Name: Merrick Brian Garland

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: November 13, 1952

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Merrick Garland is an American lawyer and jurist. He has served as U.S. Attorney General, since March 11, 2021. He has also been a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, from March 20, 1997 to March 11, 2021, and as Chief Judge of the court, from February 12, 2013 to February 11, 2020.

On March 16, 2016, he was nominated to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by President Obama. The Senate did not consider the nomination, which expired on January 3, 2017.

Merrick is the son of Shirley (Horwitz) and Cyril Garland. His father was born in Iowa. His mother was born in Illinois. He is married to Lynn Rosenman, with whom he has two children.

His parents were both Jewish, of Lithuanian Jewish, Polish Jewish, Belarusian Jewish, and Russian Jewish descent. Media statements that Merrick was “born to a Jewish mother and a Protestant father” are not correct.

Merrick is a second cousin of politician Terry Branstad, who has served as Governor of Iowa and U.S. Ambassador to China. Merrick’s paternal grandfather, Max Hyman/Harry Garland, and Terry’s maternal grandfather, Louis Edward Garland, were siblings. They had moved from Lithuania to Iowa.

Merrick’s paternal grandfather was Max Hyman/Harry Garland (the son of Nachman Garland and Rose Friedman). Max was born in Vaiguva, Lithuania.

Merrick’s paternal grandmother was named Rose B. Kaplan (the daughter of Mordechai Kaplan). Rose was born in Drohiczyn, Poland.

Merrick’s maternal grandfather was Abraham Meyer Horwitz (the son of Binyamin/Benjamin Horwitz and Rivkah/Rebecca Esther Sverdlov). Abraham was born in Vitebsk Oblast, Belarus. Binyamin was the son of Moishe Horwitz and Sterne Chaya. Rivkah was the daughter of Yehude Sverdlov.

Merrick’s maternal grandmother was named Bessie Loretta Fish (the daughter of Berke/Benjamin Fish and Hodl/Olga). Bessie was born in Illinois, to parents from Russia. Berke was the son of Yeshiya Fish and Sarah. Hodl had roots in Riga, Latvia, and was the daughter of Benjamin.

Sources: Genealogy of Merrick Garland –

Merrick’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Merrick’s father –

Death record of Merrick’s paternal grandfather, Max Harry Garland –

Merrick’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

1 Response

  1. follers says:

    A deep shame on The New York Times’ fact-checking, and all the other news sources that bizarrely stated that Garland’s father was Protestant.

    “An earlier version of this article misstated the religion of the father of Merrick B. Garland, President Obama‚Äôs Supreme Court nominee. He was Jewish, not Protestant.”

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