Merrick Garland, the U.S. Court of Appeals judge whose bid to become a Supreme Court justice during the Obama administration was dashed by Republican lawmakers, is encouraging college students to pursue work in public service.
"Please think about pursuing public service,” Garland told a group of undergraduates at Harvard University on Monday, The Harvard Crimson reports.
"It doesn’t have to be a lifetime where that’s all you do. There are different ways to do public service, and it’s not that easy to have a career full-time in public service.”
Garland also told students to keep their options open by avoiding “golden handcuffs” — financial barriers to pursuing their goals.
"Pay off your loans. Don’t lock yourself into payments that you can’t afford on a public interest or government salary,” he said. “You really don’t know what you’re going to be interested in. … You have to take opportunities when they come. Don’t worry about the title.”
Garland, who graduated from Harvard in 1974 and Harvard Law in 1977, is Chief United States Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was nominated by President Barack Obama for the Supreme Court in 2016, but the Senate declined to vote.
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