Amid reports that President-elect Joe Biden will pick Merrick Garland to serve as U.S. attorney general, Senator Lindsey Graham offered a little nod of approval for the judge who was snubbed by Republicans for a seat on the Supreme Court.
The Republican from South Carolina tweeted on Wednesday that if the reports are true, Garland would be a “sound option” to lead the Department of Justice.
” He is a guy of fantastic character, integrity, and incredible competency in the law,” Graham composed in the post.
He added in a second tweet that Garland “will be asked numerous questions regarding existing examinations that, in my view, need to continue. I eagerly anticipate the confirmation process and will closely follow his answers.”
A number of media companies, consisting of Politico and the Associated Press, reported Wednesday that Biden plans to tap Garland to work as his attorney general and Lisa Monaco, a former homeland security consultant to President Barack Obama, as deputy chief law officer.
Garland is a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. In current weeks he has stepped away from hearing cases on the bench, additional fueling speculation that he was preparing for a prospective nomination to Biden’s cabinet.
The longtime judge– who before joining the appeals court in Washington had functioned as a federal district attorney and a senior official in the Justice Department’s criminal department– was chosen by Obama to the Supreme Court in 2016 after a vacancy was developed by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Conservative members of Congress, led by Senate Bulk Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), declined to consider the nomination or hold verification hearings.
Graham was among a handful of Republicans who consulted with Garland in 2016 and applauded him for his qualifications, informing press reporters: “He’s a very great guy. He’s, I believe, a sincere, very capable judge.”
But the senator didn’t budge on declining to hold verification hearings for Garland, signing up with the argument that the Supreme Court seat ought to remain uninhabited up until after the 2016 election when the next president might choose a justice. Their block of Garland’s nomination led to President Donald Trump’s visit of Neil Gorsuch to the high court in 2016.
Kevin Bishop, a spokesperson for Graham, tweeted on Wednesday that the senator’s post does not mean he will be voting in favor of Garland if he is nominated by the president-elect.
” FYI: Graham has actually not pledged to elect Garland merely a ‘sound option.’ Looks forward to hearings in @senjudiciary,” Bishop tweeted.
Newsweek reached out to Graham’s workplace for extra remark, but did not receive an action prior to publication.