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Merrick Garland  

Nominee for Attorney General in the 2021 Biden Administration

Merrick Garland is an American lawyer and jurist who serves as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He has served on that court since 1997. President-elect Joe Biden has selected Garland to be nominated as the United States Attorney General in the upcoming Biden administration.

A native of the Chicago area, Garland attended Harvard University for his undergraduate and legal education. After serving as a law clerk to Judge Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice William J. Brennan Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States, he practiced corporate litigation at Arnold & Porter and worked as a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice, where he played a leading role in the investigation and prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombers.

President Barack Obama, a Democrat, nominated Garland to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in March 2016 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia. Despite Republicans themselves having spent years suggesting Garland as an acceptable Democratic choice, the Senate Republican majority refused to hold a hearing or vote on this nomination made during the last year of Obama's presidency, with the Republican majority insisting that the next elected president should fill the vacancy. The unprecedented refusal of a Senate majority to consider the nomination was highly controversial. Some Republican lawmakers suggested leaving the court with just eight seats if Hillary Clinton were to be elected, saying they would block Garland or any other nominee and keep the seat vacant for at least another presidential term. Garland's nomination lasted 293 days and expired on January 3, 2017, at the end of the 114th Congress. The seat for which Garland was nominated was eventually filled by Neil Gorsuch, appointed by President Donald Trump.

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