Biden’s legal professional normal nominee Garland vows to prioritize civil rights

(Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general, Merrick Garland, will tell the Senate on Monday that he will prioritize civil rights and combat domestic terror if he is confirmed as the best U.S. Attorney General.

FILE PHOTO: Judge Merrick Garland, US President-elect Joe Biden’s candidate for US Attorney General, speaks as Biden announces his Justice Department nominations at its interim headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, United States, on Jan. 7, 2021. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque

The Justice Department’s mission to enforce the 1957 Civil Rights Act “remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice,” said Garland, whose confirmation hearing is due to begin Monday.

“Color communities and other minorities continue to face discrimination in the areas of housing, education, employment and criminal justice. and bear the brunt of the damage caused by pandemic, pollution and climate change, “he said.

68-year-old Garland is a U.S. appeals judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, one of 13 federal appeals courts. Former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, nominated him to the Supreme Court in 2016, but the Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold hearings on the nomination at the time.

Garland’s confirmation this time is considered almost certain, given the approval of several important Republican senators.

If confirmed by the Senate, Garland will inherit the beginnings of an investigation by supporters of former President Donald Trump into last month’s deadly US Capitol storm, as well as the challenge of preventing future domestic attacks.

In his remarks, Garland described the January 6 uprising as a “hideous attack” on the peaceful transfer of power and said that “combating extremist attacks on our democratic institutions remains central to the mission of the Justice Department 150 years after its inception” .

He will also face the daunting task of rebuilding a civil rights enforcement program that many proponents say has been curtailed by the Trump administration, promoting initiatives to eradicate racial differences in the criminal justice system and boost morale among staff the Department of Justice, which Trump has repeatedly attacked as part of a “deep state”.

If confirmed, Garland will also face several politically sensitive investigations.

The Delaware chief attorney is investigating Biden’s son Hunter on tax issues, and the Manhattan federal attorney is investigating former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s business in Ukraine. Giuliani was Trump’s personal attorney.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Jan Wolfe; Adaptation by Scott Malone and Paul Simao

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