Judge Merrick Garland has been confirmed by the Senate to become President Joe Biden's Attorney General, Axios reports.
Garland's nomination was confirmed in a 70-30 vote, with all Democrats and a minority of Republicans voting in favour of his nomination. This despite pushback from the GOP.
Garland has stated that he opposes the politicization of the Department of Justice, an issue which Republicans have expressed concern about ever since the Obama administration. He promised that he would "fend off any effort by anyone to make prosecutions or investigations partisan or political in any way."
The judge also promised to prosecute the "white supremacists" who stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, invoking his past involvement in prosecuting Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, more commonly known as the Oklahoma City bombers.
Garland had previously been nominated by former President Barack Obama to serve on the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but his nomination was blocked by Republicans, who held a majority in the Senate at the time.
When Garland was nominated in March of 2016 for the bench, Republicans argued that given Obama's expiring mandate and his status as a lame duck President, the victor of the next election should ultimately decide who nominates the next Supreme Court Justice. Justice Neil Gorsuch was ultimately nominated for the position after Donald Trump was sworn into office.
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