There has been another Joe Biden cabinet pick announced. The president-elect named his choice for Attorney General. His pick is Judge Merrick Garland of the federal Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.
Who is Garland?
Garland was Obama’s Supreme Court choice to fill the vacancy created by the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The nomination was made in Obama’s final year in office. So, Republican Senate Majority Leader delayed the hearings – hoping to have a Republican President make the nomination instead.
The political gambit worked. Against all odds, Republican businessman Donald Trump won the presidency and nominated Neal Gorsuch to the high court.
Before making his final selection, the Biden campaign had three possible choices. They were two white male moderates, Garland, former Georgia Senator Doug Jones, and one white female, Sally Yates, former Deputy Attorney General under Obama.
What did other Democrats think?
The possible choices got an immediate response – and not a good one – from Democrat minority activists. Al Sharpton lobbied for a Black Attorney General, or at least “someone who has a proven civil rights background.” None of those proposed were good matches for Sharpton’s requirements.
National Urban League President Marc Morial called for a Black person like Obama’s first AG Eric Holder. Again, none of the persons floated as possible picks met that standard.
On the shortlist, there was only one who might be acceptable to the Democrat’s radical left. That would be Yates. Both Garland and Jones are moderates in the Democratic Party. That is automatically unacceptable to the Bernie Sanders/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faction.
The most unacceptable to the left was Garland. Obama picked him for the Supreme Court because he was very popular with Republicans. He was also very close to Justice Brett Kavanaugh when they served together on the D.C. Appellate Court. Obama needed his nominee to win approval from the then Republican-controlled Senate.
It is yet to be seen if the true feelings of the Democrats’ hardcore left will bubble to the surface, or if they will cringe and say nothing for the sake of maintaining influence with the President.
Will the Senate support the Joe Biden cabinet pick?
Garland is likely to get a very lopsided supportive vote in the Senate, with potentially the most opposition coming from Biden’s own Party. The Joe Biden cabinet has three Blacks and two Hispanics, but the so-called plum positions – such as State and AG — have now gone to relatively moderate older white men.
In a previous commentary, I wondered if Biden would throw the left-wing radicals under the bus. So far, he has not put them under, but he has not exactly put them on the bus, either.
So, there ‘tis.