Joe Biden has selected Judge Merrick Garland to serve as his attorney general, according to multiple reports.
Politico was the first to report the news that Biden had selected Garland for the role over a pool of top contenders that included now former Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) and former deputy attorney general Sally Yates.
Garland, the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals in D.C., was former President Barack Obama’s foiled nominee for the Supreme Court in 2016. Garland was denied a hearing by the then-GOP-controlled Senate in the final year of Obama’s tenure as president in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, which opened up a seat on the bench of the nation’s high court.
The announcement comes as Democrats are poised to clinch control of the Senate after at least one victory in a pair of runoff races in Georgia unseated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. A second on Wednesday appeared to favor Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff in a narrow lead over Sen. David Perdue. Democratic majority in the Senate would likely pave the way for a smooth confirmation of Garland for the chief Justice Department job, as well as a replacement for him on the key D.C. appeals court.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — who previously suggested that Democratic control of the White House, the Senate and the House, would be a “trifecta from hell”— signaled support for the choice in a tweet on Wednesday calling Garland “a man of great character, integrity, and tremendous competency in the law.”