U.S. News

U.S. Senate panel sets Feb. 22-23 hearing for attorney general nominee Garland

Judge Merrick Garland, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to be U.S. Attorney General, speaks as Biden announces his Justice Department nominees at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., January 7, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Feb. 22-23 on confirmation of President Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee, Merrick Garland, and will vote on advancing his nomination on March 1, the panel said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Judge Garland will serve the Justice Department and our country with honor and integrity. He is a consensus pick who should be confirmed swiftly on his merits,” it quoted the committee’s chairman, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, as saying.

Garland, 68, is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, one of 13 federal appeals courts.

Since Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, the Senate has confirmed many members of his Cabinet, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Democratic former President Barack Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016 while Biden was vice president. The Senate, then controlled by Republicans, refused to hold hearings on the nomination, allowing Republican former President Donald Trump to fill the seat after he assumed office in January 2017.

Reporting by Makini Brice and Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Sam Holmes