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Durbin, Grassley Announce Nomination Hearing Date for Judge Merrick Garland, Biden Nominee for Attorney General

Senate Judiciary Committee to hold nomination hearing for Judge Garland on Monday, February 22 and Tuesday, February 23, and vote to report nomination on March 1

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today announced that the Committee will hold a nomination hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be U.S. Attorney General, on Monday, February 22 and Tuesday, February 23.  The Committee will vote to advance Judge Garland’s nomination on Monday, March 1 after all Committee members agreed to waive the holdover.  

“The Attorney General oversees a host of Department of Justice components and agencies that are vital to protecting our homeland from foreign and domestic threats.  Judge Garland’s confirmation is particularly urgent in the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection,” Durbin said.  “I’m pleased that we can announce that the Committee will be moving forward on a bipartisan basis with a nomination hearing for Judge Garland on February 22 and 23.  Judge Garland will serve the Justice Department and our country with honor and integrity.  He is a consensus pick who should be confirmed swiftly on his merits.  I look forward to seeing his nomination through the Senate and working with him to address the many urgent priorities facing the Department and our nation.” 

“As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, the attorney general is entrusted with great responsibility to keep communities safe and help deliver justice. Given the significance of this role, I’ve agreed to convening a hearing inside of the customary 28 days that the committee typically takes to conduct a pre-hearing review of the nominee’s paperwork. We also expect to accelerate the post-hearing committee markup. Given these accommodations, I expect a thorough review of Judge Garland’s qualifications as well as swift and transparent responses going forward,” Grassley said.

The agreed-upon schedule for the Judiciary Committee’s bipartisan consideration of Judge Garland’s nomination is as follows:

  • Monday, February 22 –Attorney General Nomination Hearing Day #1 – Judge Merrick Garland
  • Tuesday, February 23 – Attorney General Nomination hearing Day #2 – outside witnesses
  • Wednesday, February 24 – Questions for the record due to Judge Garland
  • Sunday, February 28 – Judge Garland’s questions for the record responses due
  • Monday, March 1 – Committee vote on reporting Judge Garland’s nomination (no holdover)

Garland was born in Chicago, graduated as valedictorian of Niles West High School in Skokie, and earned undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard.  His father was a small businessman and his mother worked as director of volunteer services at Chicago’s Council for Jewish Elderly. His grandparents immigrated to America after leaving the Pale of Settlement in Russia in the early 1900s to flee anti-Semitism. While in college, Garland spent two summers volunteering for then-Congressman Ab Mikva. Garland later was confirmed to Mikva’s seat on the D.C. Circuit.   Garland clerked for Judge Henry Friendly on the Second Circuit and Supreme Court Justice William Brennan.