Select Page

If Joe Biden Is Serious About Criminal Justice Reform, He Won’t Pick Merrick Garland for Attorney General

rtrlseven957011

President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly considering federal Judge Merrick Garland to serve as the attorney general in his administration. According to reporting by NPR, “two people closely following the process” say that Garland is a contender for the role in the Biden White House.

Garland, a long-serving judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was President Barack Obama’s 2016 pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. But Garland’s SCOTUS nomination was totally stonewalled by the Republican-controlled Senate, which refused to even hold hearings. As a result, President Donald Trump was later able to fill the vacancy by nominating Neil Gorsuch.

Plenty of Democrats would no doubt enjoy the idea of Biden trolling the GOP by sending Garland back to Capitol Hill for another high-profile Senate confirmation showdown.

But the idea of Garland serving as attorney general is also likely to trouble many criminal justice reform advocates. That is because Garland has the sort of judicial record that police and prosecutors are quite happy to see. As I noted in a 2016 column:

While Garland is undoubtedly a legal liberal, his record reflects a version of legal liberalism that tends to line up in favor of broad judicial deference to law enforcement and wartime executive power.

In the area of criminal law, for example, Garland’s votes have frequently come down on the side of prosecutors and police. In 2010, when Garland was reported to be under consideration to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein observed that “Judge Garland rarely votes in favor of criminal defendants’ appeals of their convictions.”

On the presidential campaign trail, Biden made certain efforts to distance himself from his regrettable record as an inveterate drug warrior and law enforcement booster. If Biden would like to demonstrate his seriousness about turning over a new leaf on criminal justice issues, picking Merrick Garland for the top law enforcement position in his administration might not be the best way to do it.


This post has been republished with permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Reason. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.

-> Click Here to Read the Original Article <-

About The Author

Damon Root

Founded in 1968, Reason is the magazine of free minds and free markets. We produce hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce. Reason exists outside of the left/right echo chamber. Our goal is to deliver fresh, unbiased information and insights to our readers, viewers, and listeners every day. Visit https://reason.com

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome

Bringing together a variety of news and information from some of today’s most important libertarian thought leaders. All feeds are checked and refreshed every hour and pages auto-refresh every 15 minutes. External images are deleted after 30 days.

Time since last refresh: 0 second

Publish Your Own Article

Follow The Libertarian Hub

 

Support Our Work

Support the Libertarian Hub by tipping with Bitcoin!

Send BTC:
19PU2K7448gKxAvisR5cF6X5RquYfWu5vZ

Weekly Newsletter

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!

Weekly Newsletter SignupTop 5 Stories of the Week

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!