WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released his opening statement ahead of the nomination hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be U.S. Attorney General. In it, Durbin argues that Judge Garland is the right leader to restore integrity and the rule of law in the Justice Department and combat domestic terrorism and systemic racism following four tumultuous years under the previous administration.

Key quotes:

“There have been few moments in history where the role of Attorney General — and the occupant of that post — have mattered more. Judge Garland, should you be confirmed — and I have every confidence that you will be — you will oversee a Justice Department in an existential moment. After four tumultuous years of intrigue, controversy, and brute political forces, the future course of the Department is clearly in transition.”

“The moral outrage of racial discrimination remains with us today, as do the forces of disorder and violence. And tragically, the Trump Justice Department fanned the flames of discrimination and division we now face. But a restored Justice Department — a Department under new leadership — can, and I believe will, meet this moment.”

“Judge Garland, we are confident that you can rebuild the Department’s once hallowed halls. That you can restore the faith of the American people in the rule of law. And that you can deliver equal justice for all.”

“When you are confirmed, Judge Garland, you — along with the rest of this nation — will continue to grapple with the January 6th attacks. But you will be in a unique position with unique responsibility. As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, you will be tasked with the solemn duty to responsibly investigate the events of that day; to prosecute all of the individuals responsible; and to prevent future attacks driven by hate, inflammatory words, and bizarre conspiracy theories.”

Full text of Durbin’s prepared remarks is available here

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