Merrick Garland Talks About His Supreme Court Nomination Being Blocked


Attorney General Merrick Garland is opening up about how he handled his Supreme Court nomination being blocked in the Senate.

ABC News’ Pierre Thomas asked Garland, “How did you feel at that moment when you were blocked and how did you get over it? How did you move past it?”

Garland replied, “I now have the opportunity to do some very important things. I have the opportunity now to lead a Justice Department in pursuit of civil rights. I have a chance to lead a Justice Department in pursuit of the rule of law.”

He continued, “And ensuring the independence of the department, and its independence particularly from any kind of partisan influence in the way we bring investigations or prosecutions.”

The attorney general also noted he has an opportunity to lead a department in Oklahoma City “that needs to fight against domestic violent extremists.”

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Watch Garland’s comments below:

“I think that’s a wonderful opportunity for myself, and that’s the reason that I wanted to come back to the Justice Department,” Garland added.

Thomas replied, “So moving on is moving on.”

Garland repeated the statement back, “So moving on is moving on.”

After Justice Antonin Scalia died in February of 2016, former President Barack Obama tapped Merrick Garland to fill the seat.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared the next justice should be selected by the next president.

“Of course,” McConnell said, “the American people should have a say in the court’s direction. It is a president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on the president and withhold its consent.”

In August of 2016, McConnell then said one of his proudest moments was “when I looked Barack Obama in the eye, and I said, ‘Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.'”

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McConnell received support as 11 Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee signed a letter saying they were not going to consent to an Obama nominee.

There were no proceedings held on Garland’s appointment.

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