Judge Merrick Garland, a former Obama Nominee for The Supreme Court of The United States, has been appointed to head the national top law enforcement position as Attorney General. The announcement by President-elect Joe Biden comes amid civil unrest in the United States Capitol building late Wednesday. Additional appointments were also announced to fill senior leadership positions in the Justice Department. These nominees include Lisa Monaco for deputy attorney general, who also served as assistant attorney general for national security in the Obama administration. Vanita Gupta was also nominated as President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general.
President-elect Joe Biden announced in a statement that “Our first-rate nominees to lead the Justice Department are eminently qualified, embody character and judgment that is beyond reproach, and have devoted their careers to serving the American people with honor and integrity,” he continued, “They will restore the independence of the Department so it serves the interests of the people, not a presidency, rebuild public trust in the rule of law, and work tirelessly to ensure a more fair and equitable justice system.” President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to creatine an independent Justice Department that doesn’t serve the Presidency but rather upholds the rule of law in the United States. This is vital as continued investigations in his son’s foreign business dealings and taxes are under continued federal investigation.
Judge Garland’s selection was only finalized after the Georgia election runoffs solidified a democratic control of the Senate. Concerns were raised about the vacancy that would be created on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and if Republicans maintained control of the Senate that seat would likely have remained empty. Among Garland was the former attorney general and Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and former acting attorney general Sally Yates.
The politicization of the Justice Department during the Trump administration has led to a department in disarray. If Judge Garland is confirmed, numerous decisions on whether to pursue investigations into President Trump, his associates, and cabinet members may arise although unlikely to be pursued in the President’s case. President-elect Joe Biden has also stated that he isn’t looking to the past and wouldn’t call for an investigation into the President.
If Garland is confirmed, his centrist positions will come with a warm welcome from some Republican Senators who have already signaled their support for Garland holding a position in the Biden administration. Amid those in support of Garland are Senator Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, and Mitch McConnel.
Our office is confident in the Biden administration’s plans to bring diverse backgrounds into the Justice Department. For the past several years, our office has reported on the downfalls of adequately serving justice for so many in the DOJ. This goes against the majority of hardworking men and women in the Department of Justice who have been silenced by President Trump. Our optimism remains high for the execution of justice in 2021.