U.S. Senate panel sets hearing for Biden's No. 2 and No. 3 Justice Department picks

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday announced it will hold a confirmation hearing on March 9 for President Joe Biden’s nominees to serve in the No. 2 and No. 3 top jobs at the U.S. Justice Department.

Lisa Monaco, a former federal prosecutor who also previously advised former FBI Director Robert Mueller and former President Barack Obama, is nominated to serve as Deputy Attorney General.

Vanita Gupta, a long-time civil rights attorney who previously led the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, is nominated to serve as Associate Attorney General.

Their confirmation hearing was announced just days after the panel heard from Merrick Garland, Biden’s nominee for Attorney General, who pledged to make civil rights enforcement and the Jan. 6 capitol riots investigation top priorities. [L1N2KS13W]

The Senate Judiciary Committee has previously said it expects to vote on Garland’s nomination on March 1, paving the way for a full Senate vote. He is expected to receive bipartisan support.

The nominations of Monaco and Gupta have also received broad support from civil rights groups as well as local prosecutors.

It is unclear, however, whether Republicans will be as receptive to Gupta’s nomination, after some right-leaning groups took out ads recently targeting some of her progressive policy positions.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall