Merrick Garland—former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee who was infamously blocked from receiving a confirmation hearing by the Republican-led Senate—is now President Biden's nominee for Attorney General of the United States in America.
Confirmation proceedings for Garland began today, Monday, February 22nd. Garland fielded questions from across the aisle, including one that hit him pretty hard.
In fielding a question from Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who asked if Garland could recount any of his personal experiences facing "hate," Garland recalled his family fled Russia to escape antisemitic persecution in the Pale Of Settlement in the early 20th Century.
"I come from a family," Garland began. "My grandparents fled antisemitism and persecution."
It's here that Garland got choked up. "The country took us in and protected us."
@atrupar I am so comforted knowing that a man of such honor, Merrick Garland, will be our Attorney General. He woul… https://t.co/uBHspNs1e4— OneAmerica (@OneAmerica) 1614018040.0
@atrupar Wow. This man. By the way, a man who can show genuine emotion is a very strong man in my opinion. That’s… https://t.co/YLgtBSxRT8— Exitaly (@Exitaly) 1614017587.0
@atrupar It's absolutely infuriating that this man was denied a seat on the Supreme Court and was replaced with a l… https://t.co/5ayemiCj9F— Patric Reynolds (@Patric Reynolds) 1614017820.0
@atrupar Between Joe Biden’s empathy and Merrick Garland’s sensitivity it’s like another planet compared the “other… https://t.co/12cHjP7QD5— pameloo (@pameloo) 1614022714.0
@atrupar My parents were Holocaust survivors. They passed on their love of the US to their daughters. Immigrants kn… https://t.co/8xVh5mzoWq— Marilyn G. (@Marilyn G.) 1614028404.0
"And I feel an obligation to the country to pay back," he continued, through tears.
"This is the highest best, use of my own set of skills to pay back. 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."
@atrupar I cried watching that.— Jo (@Jo) 1614019662.0
@atrupar Wow! An Attorney General who loves America, and shows his heart instead of smirking and snarking his way t… https://t.co/DH780zUdAJ— 🌊@Royaldmd1🌊 #nastywoman🌊 (@🌊@Royaldmd1🌊 #nastywoman🌊) 1614019188.0
@atrupar This is the real America.— Steward Beckham (@Steward Beckham) 1614017157.0
@atrupar @EndThisNightma2 That was a moment😪 Much like Biden he just seems authentic and REAL...Heartfelt and powerful!— Never Trumper (@Never Trumper) 1614017749.0
As Attorney General of the United States of America, Garland said his top priority will be prosecuting Capitol rioters.
Acknowledging that the USA was in a "a more dangerous period" from domestic white supremacists than even the time of the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, Garland said he believed the investigation into Capitol rioters so far was "appropriately" aggressive.
"I can assure you that this would be my first priority and my first briefing when I return to the department if I am confirmed."
Merrick Garland: "If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the C… https://t.co/FPq0Hfh0pc— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1614006836.0
@atrupar Merrick Garland got convictions against McVeigh and Nichols. If appointed as AG he will get everyone invo… https://t.co/0XBZJPCphz— W.J.Wylie3 it was an attempted coup not a riot (@W.J.Wylie3 it was an attempted coup not a riot) 1614007397.0
@atrupar Start with this guy: https://t.co/c9dupYnyGZ— The Clapback Kid (@The Clapback Kid) 1614006875.0
@atrupar I have a feeling Republicans will end up wishing they put him on the Supreme Court.— Nancy Hilliard (@Nancy Hilliard) 1614007194.0
@atrupar It's so bizarre that some of the people voting on Garland's confirmation may very well fall under the scop… https://t.co/7ThkkUIyQ8— Jeremy Bearimy (@Jeremy Bearimy) 1614006933.0
Garland's nomination appears to be set at the end of the first day of hearings. Should he take his job as seriously as it seems he intends to, he will be doing right by his family.
And being in charge of the Justice Department will be great retribution for Garland himself.