Report: Biden Is Considering Merrick Garland For Attorney General

U.S. President Barack Obama andÊVice President Joe Biden stand with Judge Merrick Garland, the president'sÊnominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16, 2016 in Washington, DC.ÊMerrick, 63, is chief judge ofÊthe United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was confirmed to that position by a Senate vote of 76 to 23 in 1997.
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden congratulates Judge Merrick Garland after he was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden congratulates Judge Merrick Garland after he was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. Garland currently serves as the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and if confirmed by the US Senate, would replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who died suddenly last month. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 20, 2020 12:37 p.m.

Former Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, whom Republicans brazenly blocked at every turn, is being considered for attorney general in the incoming Biden administration, NPR reported on Friday. 

If selected, Garland would be saddled with restoring confidence in a Justice Department that, amid the Trump presidency, has drifted far afield from its original nonpartisan mission — routinely playing politics to do Trump’s bidding.

President Trump has bent leaders at the Justice Department to his will, especially with Attorney General Bill Barr at the helm, who in remarks at Hillsdale College in September appeared to defend his continuous support of Trump by suggesting “the most basic check on prosecutorial power is politics.”

Biden has criticized President Trump’s meddling in the Justice Department, calling his moves corrupt while describing the agency led by Barr as “The Department of Trump.”

“The Justice Department has turned into the president’s private law firm,” Biden said at a campaign event  in Charlotte, North Carolina in September.

Garland, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, oversaw the prosecution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and was an Obama nominee for the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Anotonin Scalia months before the 2016 presidential election. 

Senate Republicans at the time denied Garland a hearing for the role, suggesting the nomination should be made by the incoming president in a contradictory effort that was cited this year, when Republicans moved to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, to the bench shortly before the 2020 election after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September. 

According to NPR, also short-listed for the top DOJ role are a host of Obama administration alums, including former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates as well as former civil rights chief and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and outgoing Sen. Doug Jones, among others.

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