On one hand, Merrick Garland, the federal appeals court judge nominated by President-elect Joe Biden as attorney general, is not particularly liberal. A former prosecutor who took part in the Justice Department’s death penalty case against Timothy McVeigh for the 1995 bombing that killed 168 people at a federal building in Oklahoma City, Garland has generally ruled in favor of the prosecution in criminal cases, according to a New York Times review of his record. He joined a 2003 ruling that said prisoners held as enemy combatants at Guantanamo could not go to federal court to challenge their confinement, a decision the Supreme Court overturned in 2004. On the other hand, Garland has supported civil rights, campaign finance limits and prosecutors’ political independence. He is likely to follow a much different path from Attorneys General Jeff Sessions, who regularly opposed minority groups and immigrants in court, and Bill Barr, whose priorities included shielding President Trump from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. In his Justice Department, there will not be “one rule for Democrats and another for Republicans, one rule for friends, another for foes, one rule for the powerful, and another for the… Read full this story
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