When President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Justice, Merrick Garland, said that he would be “the lawyer for the people of the United States,” presumably he was referring only to those people who do not favor borders or the Second Amendment. During the two days of Garland’s confirmation hearings so far, senators posed questions that may well have conservatives running for the hills.
Backing Biden on Gun Control
Responding to Senator Mike Lee’s (R-UT) question on whether the banning of certain types of guns would be possible under Garland’s watch, the nominee was open in his response. He said:
“As I’m sure you know, the president is a strong supporter of gun control and has been an advocate all of his life, professional life, on this question. The role of the Justice Department is to advance the policy program of the administration as long as it is consistent with the law.”
Expanding on how gun control might be consistent with the law, Garland reflected that “so far we have a little indication from the Supreme Court as to what this means. But we don’t have a complete indication. And where there is room under the law for the president’s policies to be pursued, then I think the president is entitled to pursue them.”
For those who prefer to read between the lines rather than just the straight text, it appears that Garland is suggesting there will be many changes coming and that they will be challenged to the highest court. The proposals coming out of the Democratic Party for gun control measures so far include a gun registry, mandatory licensing, and psychological evaluations for all those who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
As Liberty Nation’s James Fite points out, the issue of psych tests could well fall under the purview of the DOJ according to the recently reintroduced Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act. He writes:
“The rules for the psych eval are vague and many. The first listed qualification is ‘such standards as shall be established by the Attorney General,’ meaning that the rules as listed are subject to change at the whim of a single official. The evaluation must be conducted by a licensed psychologist – which makes sense. But the psychologist must also be approved by the attorney general. What might keep one doctor from being approved where another is?”
In a prelude to what the nation might expect over the next few years, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) asked nominee Garland whether crossing the U.S. border illegally should “remain a crime.” The prospective attorney general’s answer stretched the bounds of credibility, saying he “hadn’t thought about it.” Pressed further, Garland uttered a string of evasive answers that may seem all-too-familiar to Congress watchers, including that he lacks detailed knowledge of the current arrangements, does not know what the current program is, doesn’t know the surrounding issues, and the somewhat worrying “I’ve had no experience whatsoever with the guidelines, so I can’t give you a direct answer to that question.”
Those with their Evasion Bingo Cards may have enjoyed the show, but for any senators or concerned citizens curious about the likelihood of America retaining legal borders in the near future, the responses may have been less than satisfying.
The Confirmation Circus
Confirmation hearings are not the cut and thrust of debate and curiosity they profess to be. They are show trials in which both parties hope to get sufficient soundbites for fundraising purposes, and the majority party twists the political knife in revenge for its time as the minority.
It is almost certain that Garland will become the next attorney general of the United States, and with his coronation will come a Biden wingman who is ideologically aligned with the broader Democratic Party. Nominees are not chosen for their sterling careers nor their intellect but for their usefulness to the sitting president’s agenda. It was true under President Donald Trump, and it remains so under President Biden.
Read more from Mark Angelides.