GOP senators acted like they were the ones who had been mistreated during Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing: journalist
This week, Judge Merrick Garland — President Joe Biden's nominee for U.S. attorney general — was questioned by both Democrats and Republicans during his Senate confirmation hearing. Journalist Amy Davidson Sorkin, in an article for The New Yorker, analyzes some of the questions that came from GOP senators, slamming their questions as "lacking in perspective" and arguing that the senators acted like they were the ones, not Garland, who had been unfairly treated.
This isn't the first time a Democratic president has nominated Garland for an important position in his administration. In March 2016, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama nominated the centrist Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court — and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, infamously, wouldn't even consider the nomination. That High Court seat remained vacant until 2017, when it was taken over by then-President Donald Trump's nominee, Neil Gorsuch.
Five years later, Garland is being considered for U.S. attorney general in the Biden Administration. And Sorkin slams the questioning from some GOP senators as clueless. One of the GOP senators Sorkin lambasts is Sen. Ted Cruz, who reminded Garland that he needs to "understand fully well the difference between attorney general versus an Article III judge."
"Cruz's arrogance is hard to match, but he was not the only Republican whose treatment of Garland's history was, to put it generously, lacking in perspective," Sorkin writes.
Another clueless GOP senator, according to Sorkin, was Sen. Chuck Grassley, who acknowledged that he "didn't give Judge Garland a hearing" in 2016 but said that at least he didn't attack Garland the way that Justice Brett Kavanaugh was attacked by Democrats during his Senate confirmation hearings in 2018.
"(Sen.) Josh Hawley of Missouri, who had charged ahead with his challenge to the Pennsylvania electoral-vote tally even after the mob assault, used part of his time to complain about how Trump's White House interns might suffer career setbacks because of the public response to the attack," Sorkin writes. "It wasn't clear what Garland was supposed to do about that."
Sorkin also finds it ironic that GOP senators grilled Garland about the "politicization" of the U.S. Department of Justice.
"Many Republicans pressed Garland to disavow the politicization of the Justice Department, which they attributed not to Trump, but to Obama," Sorkin writes. "Garland said that prosecutions would not be driven by politics."
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