Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was one of seven who opposed Judge Merrick Garland's attorney general nomination. Alongside him: Blackburn, Cotton, Hawley, Kennedy, Lee, and Sasse also refused.
Ted Cruz’s main point of concern with approving Merrick Garland for Attorney General was whether or not he’d fire John Durham from his investigation. Garland did not give a straightforward answer. Senator Cruz alluded to the fact that when Bill Barr was on the hot seat back during the Trump administration, at the very least he was capable of promising not to fire Robert Mueller in the midst of his Russia probe.
Cruz assumes that Mueller wants to keep his options open. Ted highlights this ambivalence is typical for Garland across a wide spectrum of his answers during his confirmation hearings.
Cruz was further worried by the response Garland gave to the question as to whether or not last year’s Portland federal courthouse siege by Antifa constituted terrorism. His answer to that was seemingly “no” because they took place at night.
More specifically, after questioning by Hawley, Garland remarked the difference between DC’s Capitol riot and Portland as: “So an attack on a courthouse, while in operation, trying to prevent judges from actually deciding cases, that plainly is domestic extremism, domestic terrorism. An attack simply on a government property at night, or any other kind of circumstances, is a clear crime and a serious one, and should be punished. I don’t know enough about the facts of the example you’re talking about. But that’s where I draw the line. One is — both are criminal, but one is a core attack on our democratic institutions.”
On the issue of firearms Garland was ambiguous about the Department of Justice potentially urging an overturning of the Heller Decision. A similar unclear response was given when he was questioned about Operation Chokepoint. An infamous Obama-era DOJ operation that had them cracking down on banks for doing business with firearms dealers, payday lenders, and other "high risk" companies.
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