While he continues to wait for the Senate to vote on his nomination to the Supreme Court, Chief Judge Merrick Garland has found himself with some time on his hands.
On Sunday, he delivered an address to graduates at his alma mater at Niles West High School near Chicago. He last spoke at the school when he graduated in 1970 when he was class valedictorian.
As part of his speech, which touched on the value of public service, Garland turned to Harry Potter to inspire the students.
(Click through to the 11-minute mark for the Harry Potter references).
After he mentioned other forms of public service available outside the law, Garland said, "If you don't believe me, just ask one of my favorite people: Hermione Granger."
"In fact, the Minister of Magic once did. 'Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Ms. Granger?' he asked. 'No, I'm not,' retorted Hermione. 'I'm hoping to do some good in the world.' "
"Now that doesn't mean that you and your friends have to vanquish Lord Voldemort. Not everyone has the very particular set of skills required to accomplish that task.
"But as Professor Dumbledore once told Harry Potter: It is our choices that show what we truly are, more than our abilities.
"So make the choice do to some good in the world."
President Obama nominated Garland to the Court on March 16 to take the seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Republicans have opposed the nomination of the centrist judge, arguing the next president should appoint the new justice.
On March 28, Senate Democrats said they were hopeful the Republicans would allow a confirmation vote on Garland's candidacy to the top U.S. court by Memorial Day.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at email@example.com.
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