SEVERE WX : Air Quality Alert - Fire Weather Watch - Red Flag Warning View Alerts

Senate confirms Merrick Garland as attorney general

The Senate voted to confirm attorney general nominee M...

Posted: Mar 10, 2021 12:31 PM

The Senate voted to confirm attorney general nominee Merrick Garland on Wednesday, sending the appellate judge on his mission to uphold the integrity of the Justice Department after its actions over the past years threatened to undermine it.

Garland was confirmed in a 70-30 vote.

The former chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has been praised by members of both parties. He pledged in his nomination hearing last month to "fend off any effort by anyone" to politically influence the Justice Department's investigations, and that his first priority would be to fully prosecute the "heinous" crimes committed in the attack on the US Capitol on January 6.

"America can breathe a sigh of relief that we are finally going to have someone like Merrick Garland leading the Justice Department," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York. He called Garland "someone with integrity, independence, respect for the rule of law and credibility on both sides of the aisle."

Garland will soon face politically charged questions at the Justice Department, including whether the Justice Department should wade into former President Donald Trump's role in the Capitol riot, and how to handle a federal probe into Biden's son, Hunter Biden. Federal investigators in Delaware have been examining multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries. Garland said last month that he had not spoken to the President about the case.

Garland also could oversee the investigation of the FBI's Russia probe. But he said in his nomination hearing that he didn't have "any reason to think" that special counsel John Durham "should not remain in place."

"The President made abundantly clear in every public statement before and after my nomination that decisions about investigations and prosecutions will be left to the Justice Department," said Garland. "That was the reason that I was willing to take on this job."

In March 2016, then-President Barack Obama nominated Garland to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans blocked his nomination, claiming that the public should vote for the next president to decide the lifelong appointment. But in September 2020, then-President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. And on October 26, about a week before Election Day, she was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

McConnell said he voted to confirm Garland's nomination as attorney general "because of his long reputation as a straight-shooter and legal expert," calling his "left-of-center perspective" within "the legal mainstream."

McConnell said he discussed with Garland the federal investigation of the Capitol riot to overturn Congress' certification of the 2020 election and that law enforcement "needs to continue the work of identifying, arresting, and prosecuting those who broke the law." He urged Garland to treat "with equal seriousness" the "political violence" of the Left, and also to oppose efforts by the Biden administration to skirt Congress and use its executive power to create programs like DACA.

"When confirmed, Judge Garland must not back other constitutionally-corrosive efforts to effectively repeal laws just by ignoring them," said McConnell.

Before becoming a judge, Garland served under President Bill Clinton's Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick and led the Justice Department investigation into the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Garland said at his hearing that the current threat from White supremacists is a "more dangerous period than we faced at that time." He also gave a brief, yet emotional, anecdote in response to a question about his family's history in confronting hate and discrimination. Garland fought back tears as he explained why leading the Justice Department was important to him.

"I come from a family where my grandparents fled anti-Semitism and persecution," said Garland. "The country took us in and protected us. I feel an obligation to the country to pay back."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 214869

Reported Deaths: 2836
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41288617
Washington27471257
Marion24180329
Clackamas19603240
Lane14464171
Jackson12195151
Deschutes1035787
Umatilla918292
Linn607281
Yamhill496981
Klamath490279
Douglas423587
Polk421556
Josephine395874
Malheur365067
Benton338722
Jefferson245642
Coos226839
Columbia204732
Union159024
Lincoln151122
Wasco149831
Crook136824
Hood River124634
Morrow120317
Clatsop111810
Baker105717
Curry75512
Tillamook7285
Grant5577
Lake4848
Harney45111
Wallowa2086
Gilliam841
Sherman772
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3894556

Reported Deaths: 64228
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles127625424623
San Bernardino3040755236
Riverside3040604657
San Diego2906253793
Orange2787205141
Santa Clara1217672099
Sacramento1128961770
Kern1123181417
Fresno1036371736
Alameda939531272
Ventura829751041
San Joaquin760341446
Contra Costa74030830
Stanislaus650191085
Tulare50104854
Monterey44273524
San Mateo43880588
San Francisco38954561
Solano35193259
Santa Barbara35189465
Merced32814484
Sonoma31965328
Imperial28996745
Placer24530304
Kings23366248
San Luis Obispo21717264
Madera16885249
Santa Cruz16452207
Marin14589238
Yolo14574214
Butte12982203
Shasta12804242
El Dorado10774120
Napa1025281
Sutter9965115
Yuba681651
San Benito622963
Lassen586826
Tehama581566
Nevada518375
Humboldt489753
Mendocino457150
Tuolumne433473
Lake396364
Amador381648
Siskiyou252740
Glenn245727
Colusa233918
Calaveras227958
Del Norte15518
Inyo145338
Mono13125
Plumas7626
Modoc5737
Mariposa4857
Trinity4486
Sierra1240
Alpine890
Unassigned440
Medford
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 82°
Brookings
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Crater Lake
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 80°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 82°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 78°
Hot and smoky weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events