President Barack Obama on Wednesday tapped moderate Judge Merrick B. Garland of the D.C. Circuit to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court left by Justice Antonin Scalia, an appointment that experts say could favor employees because of Garland's reputation for deferring to agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board.

Garland, who served on the D.C. Circuit for 19 years before receiving the high court nomination, including the past three years as chief circuit judge, has weighed in on various employment law disputes during that tenure, including many cases involving the NLRB, U.S. Department of Labor and other federal agencies.

Steven Suflas, managing partner of Ballard Spahr LLP's Denver office and an employment attorney who has argued before Judge Garland, said he believes the jurist's reputation for affirming rulings by the NLRB in particular is accurate, "in contrast to other members of the D.C. Circuit that have historically been very tough on the board."

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