Biden to select Merrick Garland as attorney general

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Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland (Credit: Reuters Pictures)
Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland (Credit: Reuters Pictures)

Washington [US], January 7 (ANI): US President-elect Joe Biden has selected Merrick Garland, a former Supreme Court nominee, as the attorney general of his incoming administration, informed a source familiar with the decision.

According to the Hill, Garland, who is the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, beat out other candidates on the shortlist, including former Senator Doug Jones and onetime deputy attorney general Sally Yates.

In 2016, then-President Obama had nominated Garland to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never allowed a vote on Garland and the seat was taken by Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017.

As Democrats appear to sweep both Senate runoff elections in Georgia, the party's majority smooths the path to confirmation for Biden's Cabinet picks, as they would only require 51 votes.

That majority is especially critical for confirming Garland, as Biden could then appoint his replacement on the DC circuit court, which is considered among the most influential in the country, reported The Hill.

Garland would replace Jeffrey Rosen, who is the acting attorney general in the US President Donald Trump's outgoing administration.

Last month, Rosen replaced William Barr in the position of attorney general. Trump announced last week that Barr would depart his position early. Trump maintained that the two had a "very good" relationship, however, Trump became furious with Barr after he contradicted Trump's claims about election fraud.

As attorney general, Garland would be tasked with carrying out Biden's agenda on criminal justice, which the president-elect has said will focus on issues of racial justice.

According to The Hill, Garland, if confirmed, will also face pressure from some liberals who hope to see President Trump and members of his administration face investigations or charges for their actions, although Biden has said he will not use the Justice Department as a political vehicle. (ANI)