WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today commended the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Merrick B. Garland to be the 86th Attorney General of the United States by a 70-30 vote.
“Merrick Garland is a fellow Marylander, and I was proud to introduce him in a statement before the Judiciary Committee on February 22. I was pleased that last week the committee favorably recommended his nomination to the full Senate by a bipartisan vote of 15 to 7.
“Judge Garland is uniquely qualified at this moment in history to serve as the people’s lawyer and restore honor, integrity, and independence to DOJ.
“From 1994 until his appointment as U.S. Circuit Judge, he served as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, where his responsibilities included supervising the Oklahoma City bombing and UNABOM prosecutions. In 1997, he was appointed as a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, often seen as the nation’s second highest and most powerful court, given their review of federal agency actions and other matters. He served as Chief Judge of the DC Circuit from 2013 to 2020.
“Judge Garland has published in the Harvard Law Review and Yale Law Journal, taught at Harvard Law School, and served as President of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University. He served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 2017 to 2020.
“Judge Garland has served both Democratic and Republican administrations in the Justice Department, including service under President Carter, the first President Bush, and President Clinton. He earned a reputation as a tough and fair prosecutor who took on complicated terrorism, violent crime, and corruption cases. He established a sterling reputation of handling cases with the utmost professionalism, and is seen by his peers as a modest man who is fundamentally a decent human being.
“As President Biden noted in his introduction of Judge Garland’s nomination, despite his busy schedule and prestigious positions, he still makes time to volunteer regularly, tutoring students in Northeast DC, as he’s done for 20 years. And I agree this really shows us the true character of Judge Garland, in terms of his commitment to public service, helping others, and not necessarily seeking out the limelight.
“I am hopeful that Judge Garland’s appointment will shore up and improve the morale at the Justice Department, as the Department renews its commitment to uphold civil rights and voting rights laws; protect the civil liberties and equal access to justice of all Americans; safeguard our national security and combat violent crime; and rout out systemic racism in our criminal justice system and government. As the only Cabinet department named after an ideal, I am convinced that Judge Garland will follow the facts, evidence, and law wherever it leads him, regardless of political pressure or outside influences.”