SPRINGFIELD – Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), incoming Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to current Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), urging the prompt scheduling of Judge Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing to be considered as the next U.S. Attorney General. In his letter, Durbin pointed out the urgent need to confirm the nation’s top law enforcement officer to protect our national security, and asked Graham to proceed with a February 8th hearing. This timing would comport with Republican requests that the hearing not take place during the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump and would give Committee members ample time to review Judge Garland’s record – much of which has been available since 2016 when he was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court.
“The Attorney General oversees a multitude of Justice Department components and agencies that are vital to protecting the homeland from threats both foreign and domestic. Expediting Judge Garland’s confirmation is particularly urgent in the aftermath of January 6 insurrection. As numerous Committee Republicans have recognized, the Senate should prioritize the confirmation of a President’s national security nominees and afford considerable deference to a President’s Cabinet selections. We should not apply one standard to Republican nominees and a different standard to Democratic ones,” said Durbin. “Although I hope we can proceed in a bipartisan fashion, I am prepared to take other steps to expedite the Senate’s consideration of Judge Garland’s nomination should his hearing not go forward on February 8.”
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Full text of today’s letter is available here