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Merrick Garland Confirmed as Head of Biden's Justice Department

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The Senate confirmed Merrick Garland on Wednesday as attorney general with a bipartisan vote, putting the federal appeals court judge in charge of President Joe Biden’s Justice Department.

He was confirmed 70-30.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he was voting to confirm Garland because of “his long reputation as a straight shooter and a legal expert” and that his “left-of-center perspective” was still within the legal mainstream.

“Let’s hope our incoming attorney general applies that no-nonsense approach to the serious challenges facing the Department of Justice and our nation,” McConnell said.

Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Barack Obama after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but after President Donald Trump took office his nomination floundered.

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As he sat before the Senate Judiciary panel in February, Garland said his first priority would be the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Garland will also inherit immediate political challenges, including an ongoing criminal tax investigation into Biden’s son, Hunter.

Separately, Garland will also be responsible for overseeing a special counsel investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.

Garland held senior positions at the Justice Department decades ago, including as a supervisor in the prosecution of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which led to the execution of Timothy McVeigh.

Do you support Garland's confirmation?

Some Republicans opposed Garland’s nomination, including Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who said he believed the judge would be too soft on criminals and immigrants and “empower left-wing radicals embedded inside the department.”

At his confirmation hearing, Garland told senators that America doesn’t “yet have equal justice.”


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