U.S. Senate confirms Merrick Garland as attorney general in 70-30 vote

The Senate confirmed Merrick Garland’s nomination to be U.S. Attorney General on Wednesday by a vote of 70-30, five years after Republicans blocked him from consideration as former President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

“After Donald Trump spent four years — four long years — subverting the powers of the Justice Department for his own political benefit, treating the attorney general like his own personal defense lawyer, America can breathe a sigh of relief that we’re finally going to have someone like Merrick Garland leading the Justice Department. Someone with integrity, independence, respect for the rule of law and credibility on both sides of the aisle. He understands that the job of the attorney general is one to protect rule of law, unlike the previous attorneys general under President Trump,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell supported Garland’s confirmation.

“I’m voting to confirm Judge Garland because of his long reputation as a straight shooter and a legal expert. His left-of-center perspective has been within the legal mainstream. Let’s hope our incoming attorney general applies that no-nonsense approach to the serious challenges facing the Department of Justice and our nation,” McConnell said.