Garland confirmation hearing previews policy battles ahead – Roll Call

Garland confirmation hearing previews policy battles ahead - Roll Call

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee from both parties used a confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee Merrick Garland to foreshadow what could be more heated partisan policy fights on gun control, police accountability for use of force, immigration and voting rights. The committee gave a cordial welcome Monday to the longtime federal appeals court judge in Washington, known for his even-keeled demeanor, reputation as a centrist, and history as a former terrorism prosecutor. His confirmation was all but assured by senators. “You’re going to be confirmed. I’ll bet my farm in Vermont on that,” Vermont Democrat Patrick J. Leahy said. “Never ask anyone to bet that, senator,” replied Garland, who five years ago had been denied a confirmation hearing before the same committee by Republicans for a spot on the Supreme Court. Durbin told reporters that Democrats want to set a committee vote on Garland’s nomination March 1, with a final confirmation vote later next week. Republicans and Democrats alike seemed assured that Garland has the demeanor to resist political influence over prosecutions and investigations, so many of the questions focused on what he would do with new policy positions from President Joe Biden. “The president has promised those decisions will only be made by the attorney general,” Garland said. “I do not plan to be interfered with by anyone.” When Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee pressed Garland on whether he would back any policies that would restrict Second Amendment gun rights, Garland’s answer indicated he would work […]

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