Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) will vote to confirm Merrick Garland as attorney general for the Biden administration, Politico reported on Tuesday.
In 2016, McConnell blocked Senate hearings for Garland when former President Obama nominated him to replace deceased justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. The decision was the “most consequential thing I’ve ever done,” McConnell later commented. The Senate approved three conservative justices during the Trump administration.
“I do,” McConnell responded when asked by Politico on whether he will support Garland for attorney general. The minority leader declined to further elaborate.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Garland’s nomination on March 1, and a final vote to confirm Garland could occur the same week. Besides McConnell, Republican senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas have indicated they will support Garland.
However, the extent of support Garland will gain among Republicans remains unclear. During his confirmation hearings, Garland sidestepped a question from Senator John Kennedy (R., La.) on the participation of transgender females in women’s sports.
“This is a very difficult societal question you’re asking here,” Garland said at the time. “The particular question of how Title IX applies in schools…is something that I would have to look at when I have the chance to do that.”