On Monday, the Senate judiciary committee approved President Biden’s nomination of appellate court judge Merrick Garland to be the United States’ attorney general. The committee voted 15-7 early Monday afternoon to advance Garland’s candidacy. The nomination now advances to the full Senate for final confirmation. Most likely the Senate will hold a floor vote later this week, and is expected to approve the nomination.
If confirmed, Garland will be sworn in immediately. Garland, 68, was nominated to the post of U.S. attorney general almost two months ago and appeared before the committee for a confirmation hearing last week, saying his top early priority would be overseeing the prosecution of rioters involved in the attack on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6. He told the panel: “I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 — a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government. We will pursue these leads, wherever they take us.”
Garland first rose to prominence as a potential Supreme Court nominee in 2009 and 2010 for vacancies that ultimately went to Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, respectively. In 2016 he was officially nominated by former President Barack Obama to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia, however senate Republicans denied Garland a vote and argued then that whoever won that November’s presidential election should choose Scalia’s replacement.
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