Biden touched Merrick Garland to the Attorney General


In the Republican-controlled Senate, Jones is considered the easiest candidate to confirm, given his strong connections in the corridor. Garland also ran the risk that it would be difficult to confirm his substitution in the appellate court.

But as Democrats are expected to gain the majority with a couple of subverted victories in Georgia, confirmation issues over the other candidates have largely dissipated. The announcement of the selection could be released as early as Thursday, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Told reporters on Wednesday.

The Biden transition did not want to comment.

Garland was a member of the DC District Judging Panel for more than two decades after receiving a 1997 nomination from President Bill Clinton. It was confirmed this year by 76 to 23 votes.

When Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly in early 2016, President Barack Obama turned to Garland because the then president hoped that the vacancy would be chosen by consensus. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denied Garland a hearing or vote, so the nomination was suspended for almost a year. When Donald Trump won the election in 2016, all possibilities for strengthening Garland were over.

Prior to his appointment as a judge, Garland served as a senior official in the Department of Justice and as a prosecutor in high-profile murder cases.

If confirmed, Garland will be handed a number of difficult questions, including whether Trump should be investigated for episodes of possible impediments to justice, as outlined in Special Adviser Robert Mueller’s final report, as well as tax fraud and Trump’s business.

Referring to the long-standing legal opinion of the Department of Justice, which precludes criminal proceedings against the sitting president, Mueller did not draw a definitive conclusion on the charge of obstruction, although former Attorney General William Barr said no case would have been an opinion in the absence of a crime. However, the opinion does not rule out holding a former president accountable.

Because Garland was a potential chief prosecutor, he took unusual steps to stay above ethical reproach. From early December, he withdrew from a series of civil and criminal justice cases involving the U.S. government, including appeals related to a series of executions by the Trump administration in the weeks leading up to the change in administration.

Biden Garland’s election brings benefits to Democrats that may have made him more attractive in light of Democrats ’expected victory in the Georgian Senate’s Tuesday race: It opens a seat on the DC Circuit, widely regarded as the second most powerful court in the country.

Since Democrats are likely to win Senate control – and the philosophy of low- and mid-level judicial nominations will end in 2013, ratifying Garland’s successor should be relatively easy. Some people close to Garland thought he was likely to appoint senior status soon and become vacant in court under the new administration, regardless of the outcome in Georgia and whether he was interrogated as the Attorney General.

The Garland election is likely to be warmly welcomed by Hill Democrats, who continued to be offended by the refusal to hear Senate Republicans in 2016. But some Senate Democrats have called for Jones to be appointed, and several of them have written to Biden and his transitional group calling on the president-elect to nominate their former colleague. The letter, first reported by HuffPost, was organized by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). He was sent to Biden’s team after Christmas.