Joe Biden will nominate federal appeals judge Merrick Garland as the next attorney general of the United States a transitional official to the president-elect said Wednesday a choice most Americans know as Barack Obama’s supreme court candidate. who was memorably blocked by Republicans.
Garland 68 is serving as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Obama a Democrat nominated him to the Supreme Court in 2016 while Biden was vice president but the Republican-controlled US Senate declined to hold hearings on the nomination.
Biden who will take office in two weeks also intends to nominate Justice Department veterans Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general and Kristen Clarke as assistant attorney general for the civil rights division the official said.
During his election campaign Biden pledged to take steps to end racial disparities in sentencing by eliminating mandatory minimum sentences ending the use of the federal death penalty and reestablishing the justice department’s role in investigating and holding accountable people. Police departments for “systemic misconduct.”
While many of these initiatives would require congressional approval Garland as attorney general will still have significant power to address these issues through changes in policy such as instructing prosecutors not to seek the death penalty or take impeachment decisions that will not trigger enforcement. Minima.
The news came as Democrats appeared poised to win two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia’s runoff election on Tuesday which would give the party control of both houses of Congress and give Biden. More scope to enact your agenda.
Garland who has served on the federal appeals court since 1997 is no stranger to the justice department.
Before becoming a judge he worked as a federal prosecutor where he helped secure a conviction against Timothy McVeigh for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. He was also on the team that helped secure the conviction of former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry for possession of cocaine.
Garland held other key positions in the Justice Department including as Senior Deputy Assistant Attorney General to Assistant Attorney General Jamie Gore lick beginning in 1994.
Obama nominated Garland in March 2016 to replace Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia who died on February 13 2016. But then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a Republican declined to consider the nomination saying he did not it should happen in a presidential election year.
That stance attacked by Democrats at the time came under fresh criticism two months before the 2020 presidential election when McConnell rushed to confirm Donald Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett to fill the late vacancy. Liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
While serving as Trump’s attorney general until last month William Barr faced criticism for his willingness to intervene in criminal cases in ways that benefited Trump’s political allies such as Michael Flynn and Roger Stone.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism