The Honorable Richard Durbin, Chairman
The Honorable Charles Grassley, Ranking Member
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington, D.C 20510
Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley:
I am writing on behalf of the AFL-CIO to urge swift confirmation of Judge Merrick B. Garland to be Attorney General of the United States. The multiple crises facing our nation make it more important than ever to have a chief law enforcement officer with Judge Garland’s demonstrated commitment to integrity, independence, and justice for all.
Judge Garland’s distinctive career makes him singularly prepared to lead the Department of Justice during these challenging times. As he stated in his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, “If confirmed, I will supervise the persecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy -- the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.” Indeed, he is uniquely well prepared for this enormous task, as he led the Justice Department’s 1990’s investigation and prosecution of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, Atlanta Olympic, and “Unabomber” bombings. For almost 25 years, he has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court, and during this time he has considered a multitude of complex legal issues with nationwide ramifications. He has received uniform praise for his effective service as Chief Judge of the D.C Circuit Court and as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.
Judge Garland also has made clear his commitment to the mission of the Department of Justice. As he testified, the Department was created “to secure the civil rights promised by the post-Civil War Constitutional Amendments,” and it is responsible for enforcing the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and federal statutes. He further testified that the expertise, skills, and experience Lisa Monaco, Vanita Gupta, and Kristen Clarke will bring to their respective roles as Deputy Attorney General, Associate Attorney General, and Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division are greatly needed. He did not mince words, stressing that, “we do not yet have equal justice. Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, in education, in employment and in the criminal justice system, and they bear the brunt of the harm caused by the pandemic, pollution, and climate change.”
Judge Garland is not only eminently qualified to serve as Attorney General, he also would bring the values and commitment to equal justice that our nation sorely requires at this time. He and his team deserve swift confirmation.
Director, Government Affairs