February 03, 2021

Durbin Statement On President-Elect Biden's Attorney General Nominee, Merrick Garland

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued the following statement on President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement that he would nominate Merrick Garland to be U.S. Attorney General: 

“I applaud President-elect Biden’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to be the next Attorney General of the United States.  An Illinois native, Judge Garland has dedicated his career to public service and to upholding the rule of law.  He is clearly well-qualified to serve as our nation’s top law enforcement official.

“For four years, President Trump has assaulted the Constitution, undermined the rule of law, and attacked the independence of the Justice Department.  Judge Garland, once he is confirmed as Attorney General, will work to reestablish the Department’s integrity and credibility.  I intend to ensure that he receives what he was so unfairly denied by Senate Republicans in 2016: a timely hearing and a vote.  I look forward to working with him on ensuring equal justice for all, protecting the fundamental right to vote, and combating systemic racism.”   

Durbin also issued the following statement on President-elect Biden’s announcement that he will nominate Lisa Monaco to be Deputy Attorney General, Vanita Gupta to be Associate Attorney General, and Kristen Clarke to be Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Civil Rights Division:

“President-elect Biden has assembled an outstanding leadership team for the Justice Department who will work to restore and strengthen the Department’s commitment to civil rights and equal justice under the law.  Their expertise and experience both inside and outside the Justice Department will serve the American people well.  I will ensure that these nominees receive prompt and fair consideration before the Senate Judiciary Committee.”   

Born in Chicago and raised in Lincolnwood, Illinois, Merrick Garland received undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard and clerked for Judge Henry J. Friendly on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice William Brennan on the Supreme Court.  He served with distinction as a federal prosecutor and in several supervisory roles in the U.S. Department of Justice.  In 1997, Judge Garland was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit seat vacated by his longtime mentor and fellow Chicagoan, Abner Mikva.  Judge Garland served as Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit from 2013 to 2020. 

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