President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, Judge Merrick Garland, will pledge during his Senate confirmation hearing Monday to confront a rise in extremist violence and racial discrimination, while stressing the need to restore a more traditional approach to the Justice Department’s work after years of political turmoil.
According to prepared remarks made public late Saturday, Judge Garland will highlight what he views as an urgent need for strong enforcement of civil-rights law, citing the Justice Department’s original mission to enforce amendments that provided broader rights and protections for Black Americans that grew out of the Civil War.
“That mission remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice,” Judge Garland plans to say, in comments that follow concerns from some on the left who had hoped for a nominee with a strong record of civil-rights advocacy. “Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, education, employment, and the criminal justice system; and bear the brunt of the harm caused by pandemic, pollution, and climate change.”
Judge Garland is expected to receive bipartisan support, including from some Republicans who blocked his path to the Supreme Court in 2016, when President Barack Obama nominated him to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
He also has broad backing from the legal community, with more than 150 former Justice Department officials of both parties and at least 61 judges urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to advance his nomination. Civil-rights and policing groups sent letters to lawmakers describing him as a leader who would balance their interests.
Source: WSJ – US News