For years, the name “Merrick Garland” has been shorthand on the left for the conniving methods of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who blocked the judge from the Supreme Court in an episode that liberals never quite got over.
In a surprising — or maybe not — move, McConnell is backing the far-left judge to serve as Joe Biden’s attorney general, The Hill reported.
McConnell will support Garland’s confirmation
McConnell earned the lasting enmity of the left when he blocked Garland from the Supreme Court in 2016. Former President Barack Obama had chosen Garland to fill the seat vacated by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died that year.
McConnell called his move the “the most consequential thing I’ve ever done,” and his foes never let him forget it. Liberals would regard Garland’s seat as having been “stolen” by an unscrupulous senator. At the time, McConnell said that he was blocking Garland because it was an election year, and the episode resurfaced in 2020 when he led Republicans to rapidly confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
However, it looks like McConnell’s famous political hardball has its limits. He revealed to Politico on Tuesday that he won’t get in the way of Garland this time as he aspires to lead the Justice Department.
A vote is on Monday. McConnell would not explain his reasoning, simply telling Politico, “I do” support Garland’s confirmation.
For years, liberals called Garland a shoo-in for the Supreme Court, a perfectly qualified judge who McConnell shot down out of pure partisan spite and calculation. In his hearing this week, though, Garland raised some red flags.
Garland expected to sail, despite red flags
In one shocking moment, he confessed to not knowing whether it should be illegal for people to enter the United States without permission. He also said that he would not describe as “domestic terrorism” attacks on a federal courthouse in Portland by left-wing rioters this summer.
HAWLEY: “Do you believe that illegal entry at America’s border should remain a crime?”
GARLAND: “I just haven’t thought about that question… I don’t know of a proposal to decriminalize but still make it unlawful to enter.” pic.twitter.com/RDSRsdCabu
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 22, 2021
At the same time, Garland — who was involved in prosecuting the Oklahoma City bombing, the worst domestic attack in American history — vowed to make prosecuting the recent riot at the Capitol his top priority, calling it the “most heinous attack on the democratic process that I’ve ever seen.”
Garland left some, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Julie Kelly of American Greatness, concerned that he would play an active role in an apparent effort by Democrats to use the January “insurrection” to crack down on Trump supporters, who Democrats have compared to Al-Qaida for weeks.
However, he is likely to sail with support from prominent Republicans like McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who said Garland has a “very deep understanding of the threats America faces.”