The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Merrick Garland as President Joe Biden’s Attorney General, in a 70-30 vote. Garland, 68, has sat on the bench of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals since 1997. Wednesday’s vote came exactly five years after former President Barack Obama nominated Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court but the GOP-controlled Senate blocked it. (Trump subsequently nominated Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed in 2017 by a far narrower 54-45 vote.)
When Biden nominated Garland in January, he said: “We need to restore the honor, the integrity, the independence of the DOJ of this nation that has been so badly damaged. I want to be clear to those who lead this department who you will serve... Your loyalty is not to me. It’s to the law, the Constitution, the people of this nation.” MSNBC justice correspondent Pete Williams said Wednesday that the 70-30 vote was one of the most convincing votes for an attorney general nominee, with the exception of Eric Holder and Janet Reno.