Judge Merritt was a cherished friend of my entire family. A deeply intelligent and deliberative legal thinker, he was an ardent defender of the liberties that form the foundations of our Constitution. He understood the power of his position and sought to use it to advance justice for the Americans he served and to help build democracies abroad. He was a man of great integrity and I am lucky to have benefitted from his mentorship, wisdom, and friendship.
Judge Merritt believed in the power of the legal system to advance civil rights and provide equal opportunity under the law. So on what would have been his 86th birthday and on the day of our annual celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., may we all recommit ourselves to the pursuit of justice for all.
Gil will be greatly missed and I am holding his family in my thoughts and prayers.