President-elect Joe Biden has announced that he is nominating Merrick Garland, former chief judge of the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as his attorney general.
Here are the latest updates:
Update 6:26 a.m. ET Jan. 7: The announcement came early Thursday in a news release.
“Today, President-elect Joe Biden announced key nominations for the Department of Justice: Judge Merrick Garland, nominee for attorney general; Lisa Monaco, nominee for deputy attorney general; Vanita Gupta, nominee for associate attorney general; and Kristen Clarke, nominee for assistant attorney general for the civil rights division,” the release read.
Original report: President-elect Joe Biden plans to name Merrick Garland, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as his attorney general, according to multiple reports.
The Associated Press reported Biden is expected to announce Garland’s appointment on Thursday.
Biden chose Garland over former Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Politico reported. The news site, which was first to report on Biden’s pick on Wednesday, noted that Garland has been recusing himself in recent weeks from cases which involved the federal government.
Garland had been considered a top contender for the post for weeks, although CNN reported there were concerns over who would take his place as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia once he vacated the role. Biden chose Garland after it became clear that Democrats were likely to win a pair of runoff races in Georgia, giving them control of the U.S. Senate and the ability to push through nominees to the seat, CNN reported.
In 2016, then-President Barack Obama nominated Garland to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court following the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. However, Republicans refused to hold a hearing on the nomination. After President Donald Trump was sworn into office in January 2017, he nominated then-federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the post. The Senate confirmed Gorsuch’s nomination in April 2017.
Garland previously served from 1989 to 1992 as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia before joining the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division as a deputy assistant attorney general. In the Justice Department, he supervised prosecution of Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols and “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski.
Cox Media Group