President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland as U.S. attorney general, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Garland was previously nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States under former President Barack Obama in 2016 to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after he passed away. After Republicans blocked the nomination, Garland returned to his position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which he has held since he was nominated by Bill Clinton in 1997.
If Jon Ossoff manages to pull out a victory in addition to Raphael Warnock’s in the Senate runoff race in Georgia, Democrats will take control of the upper chamber, providing an easy path for Garland’s confirmation.
In 2019, Biden forgot Garland’s name on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” requiring assistance from host Jimmy Kimmel to finish his sentence.
“Back when, when they were holding up before Trump got elected, they were holding up, uh, um, the nomination of the president put forward for the Supreme Court,” Biden said, struggling to find the words he was looking for.
“Merrick Garland,” Kimmel said.
“Merrick Garland, a really fine man,” Biden continued.
Other potential nominees for the position included former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and outgoing Alabama Sen. Doug Jones. According to Politico, however, Garland recently recused himself from several cases “involving the federal government” in this court, leading some to speculate that he might be Biden’s pick.
While many corporate media publications previously labeled Garland as a “centrist” and “moderate,” The New York Times aligned him in 2016 politically and ideologically left of SCOTUS Justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer.
If confirmed, Garland will face the decision to recuse or move forward with at least three ongoing investigations into the Biden family, including Hunter Biden’s taxes and foreign business dealings. He would also have to make a decision about the special counsel’s investigation into the federal probe about President Donald Trump and Russia.
Just last month, former attorney general William Barr appointed federal prosecutor John Durham a special prosecutor to facilitate the investigation into the intelligence community’s actions under former President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Biden.