Joe Biden Expected To Nominate Merrick Garland As Next Attorney General

In this July 22, 2019, file photo, Merrick Garland pays his respects for the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden is set to name Garland as Attorney General. Andrew Harnik/AP

President-elect Joe Biden has selected Merrick Garland as his nominee to be the next attorney general, the Associated Press and other outlets reported.

Garland, who sits on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama in 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to advance his nomination, or even meet with him.

Garland has served on the appeals court since 1997.

If confirmed, Garland would have one of the highest-profile Cabinet positions, with enormous influence on criminal and civil prosecutions. Perhaps his biggest impact on the entertainment industry will be on who he selects to lead the Antitrust Division, which reviews major mergers and acquisitions.

Biden also would get a vacancy to fill on the D.C. Circuit with the nomination. The appeals court can have enormous influence over laws passed by Congress and regulations implemented by federal agencies.

Biden’s nominees might have a far easier time of being confirmed if Democrats end up winning both of Georgia’s Senate seats, as is expected. That would give Democrats control of the Senate.
Before he was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit, Garland was principal associate deputy associate attorney general in the Justice Department, where he oversaw the investigation into the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Garland reportedly was among the contenders for the post along with Sally Yates, who briefly served as acting attorney general in 2017, and Doug Jones, the Democratic former senator from Alabama.

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