Biden considering Merrick Garland for attorney general position

Christian Spencer
·2 min read

The judge famously oversaw the prosecution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in the 1990s

President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly considering federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general under his administration.

The former vice president is said to have a short list of department veterans that he’s eyeing for AG, including former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former civil rights chief Deval Patrick and former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, according to NPR.

As theGrio previously reported, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative stalwart, in February 2016, then-President Barack Obama nominated Judge Garland for the seat. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, though, blocked him from being considered.

Read More: Biden adds Obama administration veterans to top staff

GOP leaders under the Obama administration refused to consider Garland’s nomination because it was close to the presidential Election. Fast forward to 2020, and McConnell defended himself against allegations of hypocrisy for holding a vote on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement during an election year.

McConnell claims 2016 was different because the White House and Senate were controlled by different parties, per Politico. At a press conference in September, he noted that Obama asked “Senate Republicans for an unusual favor that had last been granted nearly 130 years prior.”

Garland, 68, was appointed to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1997, and served as its chief justice from February 2013 to February 2020. He famously oversaw the prosecution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in the 1990s.

The current attorney general is William Barr, whose reputation is less impressive than Garland, objectively speaking. Former Attorney General Eric Holder, who served under Obama from 2009 to 2015, wrote an opinion piece on The Washington Post that “William Barr is unfit to be attorney general” and slammed Barr for being “plainly ideological, so nakedly partisan and so deeply inappropriate for America’s chief law enforcement official.”

Many in the DOJ also view Trump as unfit, which is why the president hurls attacks on federal prosecutors and FBI agents.

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