VOA, WASHINGTON – The 68-year-old Garland, currently a federal appellate court judge in Washington and a 2016 Supreme Court nominee whom Senate Republicans refused to consider in a presidential election year, is one of President Joe Biden’s most important Cabinet selections.
If confirmed by the Senate, Garland would head the Justice Department amid its ongoing investigation of hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump, many of them with anti-government views, who stormed into the U.S. Capitol last month to confront lawmakers as they were certifying that Biden defeated Trump in last November’s election.
In addition, Garland could oversee contentious racial disputes involving law enforcement abuses of minorities in criminal cases that has led to massive street demonstrations in recent months.
Garland appears likely to win approval in the Senate, which is politically divided between 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, but with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaking vote in his favor if needed. Already, at least two Republican senators have expressed support for his nomination.
Even so, Garland is likely to face sharp questions from Republican lawmakers at his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee about pending investigations started by attorneys general appointed by Trump.