McConnell on Garland Nomination and Pressing Issues Facing DOJ
‘I’m voting to confirm Judge Garland… For the country’s sake, let’s hope our incoming Attorney General applies that no-nonsense approach to the serious challenges facing the Department of Justice and our nation. Let’s hope that he controls the bureaucrats and leftist subordinates that the President proposes to place under him, rather than the other way around.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding nominations:
“Yesterday, I voted to advance the nominations of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Judge Merrick Garland to be Attorney General.
“These aren’t the nominees that any Republican would have picked for these jobs. But the nation needs presidents to be able to stand up a team — so long as their nominees are qualified and mainstream.
“I’ve voted to confirm people like Secretaries Austin, Blinken, Yellen, Vilsack, and Buttigieg. We certainly disagree on plenty of issues. But I spent four years watching many of our Democratic colleagues do everything possible to obstruct and delay President Trump’s nominees, right from the start.
“Now we hear many of the same Democrats insisting that — as a matter of principle — a new president needs his team and any delay is an outrage. It’s funny how some things change. My position has not.
“I’m voting to confirm Judge Garland because of his long reputation as a straight-shooter and legal expert. His left-of-center perspective has been within the legal mainstream.
“For the country’s sake, let’s hope our incoming Attorney General applies that no-nonsense approach to the serious challenges facing the Department of Justice and our nation. Let’s hope that he controls the bureaucrats and leftist subordinates that the President proposes to place under him, rather than the other way around.
“When I spoke to Judge Garland, we discussed his commitment to the ongoing investigation of the events of January the 6th. Federal law enforcement needs to continue the work of identifying, arresting, and prosecuting those who broke the law in order to disrupt the constitutional business of Congress. He assured me that will remain a priority.
“At the same time, it’s essential that the DOJ treat political violence with equal seriousness no matter which political fringe it may come from.
“Last summer, riots, vandalism, and even a so-called ‘autonomous zone’ consumed parts of American cities. In some instances, thugs directly attacked federal property. But amazingly, some local leaders seemed more willing to tolerate the chaos than tolerate the angry tweets that left-wing activists might have sent if they’d stepped in to do their jobs.
“We were fortunate to have Attorney General Barr who took seriously the federal government’s role to protect federal property and enforce federal law. Judge Garland must be prepared to do the same.
“Of course the riots haven’t been the only area where we’ve seen liberal governance give short shrift to the rule of law. The Obama Administration was famous for its willingness to let ideology dictate the enforcement of federal laws — or the lack thereof.
“Take the DACA program, for example. When the Obama administration realized their preferred immigration policies couldn’t get through Congress the right way, they stretched prosecutorial discretion and law enforcement discretion to breathtaking, unconstitutional extremes.
“When confirmed, Judge Garland must not back other constitutionally-corrosive efforts to effectively repeal laws just by ignoring them.”
Related Issues: Nominations, Law Enforcement