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Biden to nominate Merrick Garland as attorney general

Merrick Garland.
Merrick Garland.Alex Wong/Getty Images/file

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden has selected Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge who in 2016 was snubbed by Republicans for a seat on the Supreme Court, as his attorney general, two people familiar with the selection process said Wednesday.

Biden is expected to announce Garland’s appointment on Thursday, along with other senior leaders of the department, including former homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general and former Justice Department civil rights chief Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general.

In picking Garland, Biden is turning to an experienced judge who held senior positions at the Justice Department decades ago, including as a supervisor of the prosecution of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

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The pick will force Senate Republicans to contend with the nomination of someone they spurned in 2016, refusing even to hold hearings when a Supreme Court vacancy arose, but Biden may be banking on Garland’s credentials and reputation for moderation to ensure confirmation.

The people familiar with the process spoke on condition of anonymity.