Issues & Insights
Merrick Garland meets Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Senate Democrats, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (

Did Biden Pick Garland As AG To Wreak Revenge On Trump, GOP?

I&I Editorial

President Biden is now two-for-two in making awful selections for his Cabinet. The first was naming entirely unqualified far-left activist Neera Tanden to be director of the Office of Management and Budget. The second is his selection of appeals court judge Merrick Garland to be attorney general.

For those who don’t recall, Garland was nominated in March 2016 for a seat on the Supreme Court. The Obama administration sold him through the mainstream media as a potential court “moderate,” the best the Republicans could hope for.

Despite nonstop media pressure, Senate Republicans held fast, dragging their feet on confirmation hearings for Garland in the hopes (then seen by most political pundits as highly unlikely, if not impossible) that a Republican president would succeed Obama.

But, mirabile dictu, Donald Trump defied expectations and won the presidency. Consequently, not only did the country escape Garland, three new conservative justices — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — are now on the nation’s highest court, thanks to Trump.

Based on recent remarks, we can see that by not having the supposedly “moderate” Garland on the nation’s highest court, Constitution-loving Americans dodged a bullet.

Over at Instapundit, Ed Driscoll even put up a “Merrick Garland Watch,” a headline list of comments by Garland that should be of concern to all Americans:

To wit:

● Garland: Portland Riots May Not Be ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Because Courthouse Was Closed

● Garland Vows to Prioritize Prosecuting Capitol Rioters and Their ‘Abettors’

● Garland Won’t Promise to Protect Durham Investigation

● Garland Says DOJ Would Advance Biden’s Anti-Gun Policies

● Garland refuses to state illegally crossing the border is a crime

● Garland Sidesteps Question on Trans Participation in Women’s Sports

We’re particularly concerned with this remark Garland made in his opening comments during Monday’s Senate hearing:

“If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 – a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.”

While those who committed violent acts on that day deserve the to be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows, we do not agree with Garland’s take that this is a serious, ongoing problem.

Jan. 6 was no “insurrection.” The only actual killing that took place was when a police officer shot a demonstrator, Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who later died of her wounds. Though regrettable, none of the other four deaths, despite distorted media reports, were violent.

This plan to “investigate” sounds like more of the same that we got from the Justice Department over the last six years, with secret investigations of a sitting president, his campaign and White House aides that led nowhere but influenced not one but two presidential elections.

Under Garland, expect more investigations of twice-impeached, now-citizen Trump and those who follow him. When it happens, please remember that the left routinely refers to Trump as a”white supremacist,” “fascist,” and “extremist” on the right. So when Garland says he’ll go after “white supremacists and others,” it’s clear what he’s saying.

He’s picking up right where the FBI’s James Comey, the CIA’s John Brennan and other Deep State denizens left off, investigating Trump and his followers based on phony criminal premises, while whittling away at Americans’ unalienable constitutional rights.

Pardon our paranoia, but Garland, who supervised the prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing, seems to agree the U.S. is under siege by both white supremacists and what the left routinely refer to as right-wing “domestic terrorists.”

Lest you think that’s a stretch, the Associated Press and others explicitly likened the Jan. 6 Capitol violence to the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people. And Garland has reason to despise Trump, if only because he missed a Supreme Court slot after Trump unexpectedly beat Hillary Clinton, who, by the way, does deserve to be investigated. She started all this.

The vast majority of those demonstrating in Washington, D.C., last month were entirely peaceful. And contrary to comments later made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer and other irresponsible, far-left Democrats, Trump did not “incite” riots or anything else. This is a proven lie.

Tellingly, in his comments Monday, Garland issued not a peep about Antifa, BLM and assorted other extreme-left groups that rampaged through dozens of cities over the last year, causing billions of dollars in damage, destroying businesses and homes, and, saddest of all, killing people.

For the record, the damage from those riots was “the worst in history.” And “at least” 25 people were killed during actual “insurrections,” a fact that’s routinely gaslighted by the media. They simply pretend none of the damage or death took place.

And those violent insurrectionists did so with the explicit support and even aid of congressional Democrats, a sickening display of lawlessness that has weakened Americans’ faith in their nation’s justice system and rule of law.

By the way, these remarks weren’t Garland’s only warning flags. He signaled that he’s ready to crack down on Second Amendment rights, while also refusing to say whether illegal immigration should still be a crime.

Memo to Mr. Garland: The Second Amendment isn’t a statute, it’s a bedrock of individual rights in this country. And illegal immigration is illegal because we don’t have open borders. Apparently, he, too, believes that borders are a fiction.

Plainly, he’s no constitutionalist. He’s a political pragmatist, who tailors his constitutional views to the current political taste.

Politically, Garland may be the perfect pick as Biden’s attorney general. But he’s the worst pick possible for Americans who treasure their ancient liberties and constitutional rights. Sadly, when the vote comes, he’ll almost certainly be confirmed, with solid Republican support. You know, “unity.”

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • I wish one of the Senators would have specifically asked him about if the Capital Hill protestors would have come at night would it have been ok.

  • Kavanaugh and Barrett along with Roberts joined the Left Wing contingent on the Court in refusing to hear cases attempting to address the unconstitutional changing of election procedures in the swing states. This is the kind of thing they were put onto the Court to deal with; if they feel that they are not up to the job they should turn in their black robes and go into private practice.

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