Merrick Garland Has a Lot Of Thinking To Do

Biden's AG nominee punts on crucial policy questions

Chief Judge Merrick Garland / AP
• February 23, 2021 5:55 pm


Judge Merrick Garland, who will likely become the next attorney general, isn’t really sure what he thinks about illegal immigration, China, and the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. 

A string of evasive answers made Garland’s confirmation hearing on Monday a dull and tedious affair, especially since his confirmation looks like a lock. 

The proceedings made for a stark contrast with the confirmation hearings of Jeff Sessions and William Barr, who were lambasted by Democrats for similarly noncommittal answers. 

Here are Garland’s thoughts on some of today’s most pressing issues.

1. Whether illegally crossing the border should remain a crime.

"I haven't thought about that question, I just haven't thought about that question."

2. Whether it was wrong to force nursing homes to accept patients who previously tested positive for COVID-19. 

"I honestly don’t know what happened with the nursing homes…. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be evasive. I really, I really don’t know the facts here."

3. Whether special counsel John Durham’s probe into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation is legitimate. 

"I don’t really know anything about the investigation."

4. Whether President Joe Biden should issue an across-the-board commutation of federal death row inmates.

"This is one of the ones which I would have to think about, which I have not thought about."

5. Whether the Chinese Communist Party is an enemy of the United States.

"Well I don’t have the same familiarity with the intelligence information that the director of national intelligence has, so in terms of comparing, say, the threat from China and the threat from Russia, I’m just not competent to make that comparison."

6. Whether biological men who identify as women should be allowed to participate in women’s sports. 

"The particular question of how Title IX applies in schools is one that, in light of the Bostock case, which I know you're very familiar with, is something that I would have to look at when I have a chance to do that."

Published under: Democrats, Merrick Garland