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Durbin Questions Outside Witnesses for Judge Garland's Nomination to be Attorney General

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today asked questions to the outside witness panel for the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to be U.S. Attorney General.  Durbin posed a question to Andrea Tucker, who is a parent of students Judge Garland has tutored.

“How have your kids taken to Judge Garland in a personal way?” Durbin asked.

Tucker answered by stating her son and daughter seem to love Judge Garland, and that he has asked how they’ve been doing during the pandemic, and has gotten to know them on a personal level. She also said her kids were excited when Judge Garland was nominated to be the next Attorney General by President Joe Biden.

Durbin then asked Wade Henderson, Interim President and CEO at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, about protecting the right to vote in America for communities of color.

“When we looked at the Reconstruction period, Jim Crow…it seems to me the first vulnerability of the recently freed African Americans was the right to vote,” Durbin said. “It still continues to this day. Voter suppression really focuses, primarily, on people of color when all is said and done. Any comments with your life experience on this issue?”

Henderson answered by stating that one of the first goals of the newly created Department of Justice in 1870 was to go after violence from the Ku Klux Klan. Henderson continued by saying the issues that challenged African Americans 150 years ago remain a challenge to American democracy today, and that it is imperative to have a Department of Justice committed to lowering the temperature and enforcing the laws as they exist to protect the right to vote for every American citizen. He concluded by saying Judge Garland is the “perfect individual to carry out that responsibility.”

Video of Durbin’s of questions to outside witnesses in Committee is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s of questions to outside witnesses in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s of questions to outside witnesses in Committee is available here.


All witnesses stated their support for Judge Garland’s nomination. The following individuals participated in today’s panel:


Mr. Wade Henderson – Majority Witness

Interim President and CEO

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Washington, D.C.


Mr. Josh Blackman – Minority Witness

Professor of Law

South Texas College of Law

Houston, Texas


Ms. Andrea Tucker – Majority Witness

Parent of Students Judge Garland tutored

Washington, D.C.


The Honorable Ken Starr – Minority Witness

Judge (Retired)

Waco, Texas


Ms. Donna Bucella – Majority Witness

Former Director, Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) and former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida

Irving, Texas