Judge Merrick Garland is back at work and showing no sign of being upset about not getting a hearing for his Supreme Court nomination, according to a report in The New York Times.
Garland returned to work at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit where has been chief justice since 2013.
He declined the opportunity to be interviewed for the Times article, but a former Garland clerk said his behavior afterward shows his character.
"I found it very hard to put behind me what happened to him in the past year. He did not react with anger or self-pity, and that reinforced for me the character and decency of Judge Garland. In many ways, it made me feel worse," Danielle Gray told The Times.
Jamie S. Gorelick, a Harvard classmate of Garland's, praised his behavior on the night of the election.
"He started the evening finally at the point at which his nomination could go forward, and ended it at a point where it was dead. And that's in a space of only a few hours. He was extremely disappointed, as everyone was, and sad about the closing of this chapter in his life," Gorelick said.
"But I've never seen him feel sorry for himself," she added.
After then-president Barack Obama nominated him, Garland prepared for his hearing, meeting with about a dozen Republican senators and attempting to get interviews with more.
"But Merrick didn't get frustrated; he got focused," Obama senior adviser Brian Deese said.
Obama's special assistant for legislative affairs, Josh Pollack, told The Times what the Republicans told Garland at the meetings.
"They repeatedly would reiterate that it wasn't about him — that he was incredibly impressive and well qualified, but this was about politics. Virtually no one, with one or two exceptions, tried to even challenge him on anything of substance," Pollack said.
On Jan. 30, Garland's appeals court colleagues hosted a dinner for him.
"It was kind of, 'Welcome back, Garland.' Would we have been happy to see you on another court? Yes, but we're glad you're back," Judge David S. Tatel told The Times.
Former Garland clerk Tali Farhadian Weinstein said she was disappointed he did not get the job. "He did everything right — he never said a cross word, he never made a joke about it, he never politicized it," she said in the Times interview.
In addition to being back at work on the court, Garland continues to tutor children at J.O. Wilson Elementary School in northeast Washington, where he has volunteered for almost 20 years, the Times reported.
At the school's fifth-grade graduation ceremony last June, Garland gave the students some advice: "When you watch Steph Curry glide down the basketball court, and Beyoncé dance across the stage, it sure looks easy, but every step is a result of hours and hours of practice, discipline, and determination."
After President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court position, Gorsuch's first call was to Garland "out of respect," according to The Hill.
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