Washington, Jan 7 (EFE) .- The president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden, announced on Thursday his nomination as the next attorney general of the country of federal judge Merrick Garland, whom former president Barack Obama tried unsuccessfully to place in the Supreme Court in 2016.
The obstruction of the Republican majority in the Senate prevented Garland, a respected judge who currently serves for life on the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia – where Washington is located – from ascending in 2016 to the Supreme Court.
Republicans then argued that there was no point in approving such an important nomination in an election year, but last October they ignored their own precedent and ratified, days before the November 3 elections, the appointment to the Supreme Court of conservative Justice Amy Coney. Barrett.
Aware that Garland was a victim of Washington’s political games, Biden has wanted to reward him with the position of attorney general, responsible for directing the US Department of Justice and its related agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). ) or the Anti-Drug Agency (DEA).
“I am not surprised that President Obama nominated Justice Garland to the Supreme Court. He personifies honor, decency, integrity, fidelity to the rule of law and judicial independence,” Biden said at an event with Garland in Wilmington. (Delaware).
“Those same traits will be provided as attorney general of the United States, a position that is not that of the president’s personal lawyer,” added the president-elect, underlining the independence that the Department of Justice must maintain from the White House.
After a turbulent day in Washington for the assault on the Capitol, which closes four years in which the Cabinet of outgoing President Donald Trump has been unwilling to curb his worst impulses, Biden sent a message to Garland and the rest of his nominees for the Justice Department.
“You will not work for me. Your loyalty should not be with me, but with the law, the Constitution, the people of this nation, to guarantee justice,” stressed the president-elect.
Garland, 68, assured in the same act that his priorities as attorney general, if confirmed by the Senate, will be to “ensure racial equality in the justice system” and “meet the changing threat of violent extremism,” among others.
“As anyone who sees what happened yesterday in Washington understands, the rule of law is not pretty words used by a lawyer. It is the basis of our democracy,” added the judge.
Biden waited to nominate Garland until it became clear that Democrats will control the Senate when he takes office on January 20, after both of his party’s candidates won the Georgia runoff election.
The slim majority of 51 votes that Democrats now have – counting on the runoff from Vice President-elect and Speaker of the Senate, Kamala Harris – promises to ease Garland’s confirmation process.
Biden also nominated two former Obama administration officials as “number two” and “number three” of the Justice Department, Lisa Monaco and Vanita Gupta, respectively; and attorney Kirsten Clarke as a civil rights officer at the Department of Justice.
(c) EFE Agency