President Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee Merrick Garland choked up Monday in his confirmation hearing while discussing his family’s flight from anti-Semitism.
“Yes, senator so I come from a family where my grandparents fled anti-Semitism and persecution. The country took us in and protected us. And I feel an obligation to the country to pay back,” Garland said while getting emotional. “And this is the highest best use of my own set of skills to pay back.” (RELATED: Andrew McCabe Says Merrick Garland Will Prioritize ‘Civil Rights Matters’)
“And so I want very much to be the kind of attorney, attorney general that you’re saying, I could become. I’ll do my best to try to be that kind of attorney general,” Garland said.
Garland has been on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. since 1997. Former President Barack Obama nominated the nominee to be on the Supreme Court in 2016 after conservative and former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died.
Senate Republicans blocked a Garland confirmation vote at the time, contending that it shouldn’t happen in an election year.
Garland emphasized fighting racial discrimination through policing and civil rights, in readied comments according to The Associated Press. The nominee also talked about bringing the Justice Department (DOJ) back to being apolitical following a period of unrest and contentious determinations.
The nominee also spoke in his comments about fighting growing extremism and growing threats posed by domestic terror, according to the AP.
Garland said Saturday that the DOJ upholding the 1957 Civil Rights Act “remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice,” according to Reuters.
“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,” Garland said, according to Reuters.
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