Garland confirmation is a stage for 4 of GOP's 2024 hopefuls


App. Federal Judge Merrick Garland is president Biden's nominee to become attorney general. He testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee today. The hearing lasted most of the day We begin with committee chair Dick Durbin of Illinois. This hearing will come to order today. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to be the 86th attorney general of the United States. Judge Garland I wanna welcome you and your family. I want to welcome you back to the Senate Judiciary Committee. I know this return trip. It's been a long time and planning on you're here. Finally, this will be the Judiciary Committee's first hearing of the 117th Congress. Before I turned to my opening remarks. I'd like to just take a few minutes to make some Acknowledgments. I want to welcome my friend, Senator Chuck Grassley as the committee's ranking member. When I first came on the Senate Judiciary Committee 24 years ago, I was the ranking member on subcommittee with you, and we dealt with the issue of bankruptcy. Now Illinois and Iowa sit next to each other. And so did Urban Grassley. We have our differences. But Senator Grassley and I have worked together on important legislation over the years, most recently on criminal justice and sensing reform. I look forward to continuing that work in this Congress. I want to recognize the outgoing chair and ranking member Senator Lindsey Graham, who will join us remotely this morning, and Senator Dianne Feinstein. Senator Graham, as is true of Senator Grassley. Well, we don't always agree, has always been a welcome partner on many issues. Including one of the most challenging issues, immigration, Senator Feinstein. I want to come in for leading the committee Democrats with Grace and resolved over the past four years. I know she will continue to be an important voice on this committee on a host of issues, including in her new capacity as the chair of the Human Rights and Laws subcommittee, which I was proud to charity and past Congresses. I also want to welcome our new committee members who either be here in person. I see one in person and one probably remote senators Padilla And also on the Democratic side, Senator Cotton on the Republican side. I look forward to working with each of you. There's some historic first in the Judiciary Committee this year, Senator Padilla, our new senator from California, will be chairing the subcommittee on immigration, citizenship. Border safety. I'm honored that he's the first Latino senator to chair that subcommittee, and we look forward to his leadership. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey will chair the subcommittee on criminal justice and counter terrorism. He's the first Black senator to chair a judiciary subcommittee. And we could not imagine a better choice at the helm of this particular subcommittee to all of our other members who are returning to serve on the committee. Welcome back. I want to thank all the committee members for agreeing to hold this committee hearing and vote on Judge Garland's nomination. It is a great honor to serve on this committee. The Senate established the Judiciary Committee by resolution on December 10th 18 16, making it among the very first standing committees of the Senate. This committee has seen many consequential debates and approved many important nominations and landmark legislation in the committee's history. There has only been one prior Illinois senator to serve his chair Judge Garland Lyman. Trumbull, who led the committee from 18 61 to 18 72, and during his term of service was a Democrat, a Republican, a radical Republican and a Democrat. Again. He was the most bipartisan senator, you could imagine His tenure was also distinguished by passage. Of historic legislation, the 13th 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution. The Freedman's bureau acts of 18 65 and 18 66 Civil Rights Act of 18 66. The last of these was introduced by Trumbull ultimately became the nation's first civil rights law. As chair, Trumbull saw a nation torn apart by original sin slavery and widespread violence and injustice that continued even after the 13th amendments. Passage is African Americans throughout the nation face race. System. Our nation is still dealing with the consequences of these injustices. People of color face systemic racism, and we're still working to rid this nation of the horrific legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. This committee could make a difference. We have the jurisdiction and the opportunity to do it through legislation, oversight and nominations, including this nomination of Merrick Garland to service our nation's next attorney general. There have been few moments in history where the role of attorney general and the occupant of That post It mattered more Judge Garland should you be confirmed, and I have every confidence you will be. You'll oversee a Justice Department at an existential moment. After four tumultuous years of intrigue, controversy and brute political force, the future of the department is clearly in the hands of the next attorney general Under attorney general Sessions and successor Bill Bar. The Justice Department literally became an arm of the White House committed to advancing the interest. The President Trump his family and his political allies. It came as little surprise then that the U. S Department of Justice became the Trump Department of Justice General Bar stated clearly that he believed the attorney general was the president's lawyer, not the nations. And what were the results too many in the department's senior roles cast aside the rules law trump appointees in the apartment sidelined career public servants from Lyon attorneys, two FBI agents Limited their roles disregarded their nonpartisan input override, overriding their professional judgment and falsely accusing them of being members of the

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