WORLD / AMERICAS
Biden's attorney general nominee Garland vows to prioritize civil rights
Published: Feb 21, 2021 07:03 PM
US President Joe Biden's attorney general nominee Merrick Garland will tell the Senate on Monday he plans to prioritize civil rights and combat domestic terror if confirmed as the top US justice official, according to remarks released on Saturday.

Then US president Barack Obama and then vice president Joe Biden stands with Judge Merrick B. Garland, while nominating him to the US Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16, 2016 in Washington DC, the US. Photo: VCG

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 scheduled to begin Monday.

"Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, education, employment, and the criminal justice system; and bear the brunt of the harm caused by pandemic, pollution, and climate change," he said.

Garland, 68, serves as a judge on the US Court of Appeals 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 at the time refused to hold hearings on the nomination.

Garland's confirmation this time around is considered a near-certainty, as several key Republican senators have endorsed him.

If confirmed by the full Senate, Garland will inherit the beginnings of a probe into the deadly storming in January of the US Capitol by former president Donald Trump's supporters, as well as the challenge of preventing future domestic attacks.

In his remarks, Garland called the January 6 riot a "heinous attack" on the peaceful transfer of power, and said that "battling extremist attacks on our democratic institutions also remains central" to the Justice Department's mission 150 years after its founding.
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