Following the February 2016 death of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court on March 16, 2016. At the time of his nomination, Garland was the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Scalia’s death led to an unusual situation in which a Democratic president had the opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court nominee while the Republicans controlled the United States Senate; before Scalia’s death, such a situation last occurred when a Senate Republican majority confirmed Grover Cleveland‘s nomination of Rufus Wheeler Peckham in 1895. Conversely, in February 1988, during an election year, the Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed Anthony Kennedy, who was the Republican President Ronald Reagan‘s nominee for the Supreme Court, though Kennedy had been nominated in November 1987 to replace Lewis Powell who was nominated by Richard Nixon, and the vacancy had occurred in June 1987. On October 9, 1990, the Democratic controlled Senate (55–45) confirmed President George H. W. Bush appointee, David Souter, 90–9. On October 15, 1991, that same Senate confirmed Clarence Thomas, 52–48.