Making Biden Merrick Garland Attorney General is not the best idea. This is also not the worst.


President-Elect Joe Biden Announced on Thursday morning His intention to nominate DC Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Justice Merrick Garland in 2016 – known as President Barack Obama for the seat of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scallia in 2016, though Republicans voted for him before the 2016 election Refused to consider nomination – United States next Attorney General. (The nomination was leaked on Wednesday morning, but given that it was followed almost immediately by the Capitol’s violent mob, the current president was duly encouraged to interrupt the gradual transition of power to the presidential-election, someone Might also miss it.)

Garland’s election is a good sign – both for better and for worse – of what to expect from a Biden administration: competent governance that is more liberal than the progressive wing of the Democratic Party would prefer. But if there is any silver lining from the progressivists’ point of view, it seems to indicate that Biden is less confident about his ability to work with Senate Republicans than he sometimes reveals from his rhetoric.

Finally, it is certainly not a coincidence that Garland’s nomination was made clear when the Democratic Party explicitly regained control of the Senate by removing Georgia’s Senate runoff; The race for the seat of Republican Sen. Kelly race was called on Tuesday night in favor of Rafael Warnock, and the close race for the seat recently held by Republican Sen. John was running well in Osoff’s favor before challenging David Perdue. Ossoff’s side during the violence in the Capitol.

The obvious conclusion from the time is that Garland was Biden’s first choice, but he was not ready to nominate him until it was clear that a candidate was confirmed for Garland’s seat in the nation’s second most powerful court. can be done. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Q. With, about being a minority leader, which is now a possibility rather than impossible; After all, it was McConnell, who barred Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 2016, and he only committed himself to having a vote on Biden’s cabinet nominees (and promised not to confirm him).

Garland should have picked up if he was the best option on qualification, and there are real concerns here.

It is also highly likely that Biden was influenced by Garland’s Supreme Court nomination: it makes sense for Garland to allow the Attorney General to both tolerate and troll public frustration and humiliation in service for the Obama administration’s agenda As an award for Garland as a way of. McConnell, who has lost his power to stop Garland’s confirmation.

A mistaken previous attempt for Garland is understandable, but not necessarily wise: McConnell got Scalia to fill a seat with conservative Neil Gorsuch, then 49, and Garland worked for a few years, as Biden’s attorney The General retaliated with McConnell. Can possibly live quite comfortably. And while one may be so close to a lifelong goal with Garland and still not getting a fair hearing, he may still have sympathy, yet he held a life-long position in the most powerful federal circuit court. Nobody has a seat outstanding in the Supreme Court; There was no need to make the garland whole.

If he was the best choice on the merits, he should have been selected as Biden’s attorney general, and there are real concerns here.

When he was Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, several liberal skeptics noted that Garland is a former prosecutor whose record on civil liberties is particularly concerning; His embrace of “strict on crime” policies may represent the consensus of the elite Beltway in the 80s and 90s, but it was not intellectually defensible then, and it is certainly not in retrospect. The American Civil Liberties Union, in a comprehensive assessment of its circuit court tenure, found Garland as a careful craftsman with a conservative record on civil rights, such as civil rights. Reportedly, Garland “rarely ruled in favor of defendants in Fourth Amendment cases,” and his “notable sentencing verdict similarly demonstrates a prosecution’s perspective.”

Whatever his faults, Garland will certainly be a huge improvement over his predecessors

In general, Democratic elites have generally moved to the left over civil liberties in the last decade, as large-scale harassment and the terrible costs of policing appear much faster (or, at least, compared to them earlier) Increasingly difficult to ignore), and it is possible that Garland has reconsidered some of his positions. But after vigorous protests against police violence against black people, it would be better to have a leader rather than a follower on these issues as Attorney General.

Two other people reported to be serious candidates for the position – former Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., And former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates – are also capable people, and both have better records on civil liberties issues. But with Garland’s nomination, the deal was named after one of the minimal, strong supporters of criminal justice reform in the Senate – such as Corey Booker, D.N.J. – It should make a point to ask Garland difficult and detailed questions about his record on civil liberties issues.

Whatever it is, though, Garland will certainly be a massive improvement over his predecessors. Former Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Was a malicious dictator who was previously considered racist by the Republican-controlled Senate, a federal judge. William Barr, who envisioned his role as being Trump’s personal advocate, was somehow a step down from the sessions.

Garland, a very competent, widely respected judge, will bring some much-needed professionalism to a Justice Department that has been left out altogether by Trump’s attorneys – and after Trump’s appointment four years later, the quiet, unskilled Proficiency is not without its qualities. .

Finally, Garland is Joe Biden of nominees, indeed: soft and capable, without being particularly interesting or progressive, who are infinitely superior to all Donald Trump and his ministers but ideologically of the Democratic coalition. Behind the curvature. But at least the nomination and timing suggest that Biden acknowledges that McConnell is indeed a hindrance to his agenda, not a potential partner.


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