On confirming Merrick Garland
Darby Callahan (TheLorian)
Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, has decided to slow down the confirmation of Merrick Garland, President Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Justice. Garland is also the former Supreme Court Justice nomination by former President Obama whom was blocked by Senate Republicans because President Obama’s term was ending, and the Republicans wanted to allow the people to speak for themselves. Garland did not answer some basic questions in regards to topics like immigration, the death penalty, and guns, and the American people have a right to know what his Department of Justice would look like, according to Cotton when speaking to Politico for an article on March 4. There needs to be more transparency, especially in regards to immigration, the death penalty, and guns. There are only a few sources where Conservative voices can be heard. So, when the nomination for our highest office in the Department of Justice does not answer the basic questions on his beliefs in three of the most discussed issues of criminal justice, I think there needs to be a discussion there.
Due to Sen. Cotton’s hold, the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer will need to get through some more procedural votes that may last into next week, with the confirmation vote occurring after they are completed. According to Politico, there are a number of Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who supports Garland, so the Democrats thought they could skip the procedural steps. If Garland does get confirmed to lead the Department of Justice, the code of conduct that was used to govern communication between the White House and Department of Justice during the Obama administration will be used. Some have speculated that Garland would ask for a code of conduct to be legislated by Congress but he declined, according to the L.A. Times. The most notable principle that will be adhered to again is that there is to be no contact between the White House and the Department in regards to pending cases, according to the Latimes article.
So, in terms of not abusing power and having a lawyer that has strong ties to the president, Garland may seem to be a wise choice to lead the Department of Justice. I would raise the question whether or not he truly is unbiased to the Biden Administration because he was up for nomination for the Supreme Court Justice position. Could this pick be based on feelings or is it truly based on merit? Overall, I think he will be confirmed to lead the Department, and I think he will have Republican support for this less important than Supreme Court role.