Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, will commit to confronting “extremist attacks” in his opening statement for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.
“If I am confirmed, serving as Attorney General will be the culmination of a career I have dedicated to ensuring that the laws of our country are fairly and faithfully enforced, and that the rights of all Americans are protected,” Garland will say as part of his prepared remarks that were released Saturday.
Garland plans to take on the prosecution of white supremacists who were behind the deadly Capitol insurrection that former President Trump incited last month. Garland will reference his time supervising the prosecution of the perpetrators of the Oklahoma City bombing in the late 1990s.
“From 1995 to 1997, I supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple the federal government,” Garland will say. “If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 — a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.”
Garland also vowed to confront systemic racism in policing.
“The Civil Rights Act of 1957 created the Department’s Civil Rights Division, with the mission ‘to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society,'” Garland will say. “That mission remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice. Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, education, employment, and the criminal justice system; and bear the brunt of the harm caused by pandemic, pollution, and climate change.”
Citing his work at the Department of Justice before he became a judge almost 24 years ago, Garland will stress the importance of existing policies that “protect the independence of the department from partisan influence in law enforcement investigations” and “strictly regulate communications with the White House.”
Garland’s confirmation hearing will occur five years after Senate Republicans blocked his Supreme Court nomination by then-President Barack Obama. Garland, who was nominated by Obama to fill the late-Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, was not granted a confirmation hearing at the time.
Garland’s hearing is scheduled to take place Monday and Tuesday. The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on whether to advance his nomination to the Senate floor on March 1.
Read Garland’s prepared remarks below: