Who is Merrick Garland? US circuit judge touted to be President-elect Joe Biden's pick for Attorney General
The 68-year-old Garland is the widely respected former chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly seriously considering Judge Merrick Garland to serve as Attorney General in his adminstration. President Donald Trump might not be out of the White House yet and even reportedly promises to hinder Biden's arrival, but the President-elect is already on the job.
In a recent article by CNN, it is being speculated that the choice is between Garland and Alabam Senator Doug Jones. The 68-year-old Garland is the widely respected former chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Garland launched his career at the Justice Department decades ago. During the 1990s, Garland supervised the prosecution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
According to the report, "In Garland, Biden's team sees someone who is unimpeachable and politically independent at a time when rebuilding trust in the Department of Justice will be critical and a number of thorny political issues could cross the attorney general's desk."
In 2016, the then-President Barack Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court, after the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative stalwart. But Garland never received a hearing and eventually, the nomination was blocked by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky insisting that the next elected president should fill the vacancy.
However, Trump wasted no time in nominating conservative jurist Neil Gorsuch. This had left Senate Democrats furious. But today, with his chances up again, Garland is more welcome now than ever before. After this, Garland took a step back from hearing active cases in the District of Columbia Circuit, returning to the bench only after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency.
At the same time, there are several other prominent names that are also in the race. The CNN report also mentions that while Garland and Jones are the top choices, it's possible that Biden will take a second look at Former US Attorney General Sally Yates and former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick.
Twitter has been regaling at the possibility of Merrick Garland taking the post up. "Will be interesting if Merrick Garland is named AG," one tweeted. "Merrick Garland should be the Attorney General Nominee. He will be completely impartial and restore the Justice Department to a place of honor," another added in Garland's support.
Will be interesting if Merrick Garland is named AG.— Generalissimo William T. Sherman (@ChoochooMcGoo) December 17, 2020
Merrick Garland should be the Attorney General Nominee. He will be completely impartial and restore the Justice Department to a place of honor.— Karen Piazza (@PrettyDreamer9) December 17, 2020