Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said Monday that Judge Merrick Garland will prioritize “civil rights matters.”
McCabe said on CNN’s “New Day” that Garland’s “taken a very expansive view of the first amendment” while serving on the D.C. Circuit.
“He’s gone out of his way to protect whistle-blowers and very significant cases. But he has also called cases on the side of the government, frequently, particularly in Gitmo detainee review cases, things of that nature,” McCabe said.
“So he’s an incredibly fair person. He brings a very balanced approach to his decision-making, and I don’t think it’s surprising that he is going to return a focus and a priority on civil rights matters, which is quite frankly was not a priority under the last several attorneys general,” McCabe said.
Garland said during his Monday confirmation hearing in the Senate that should he become attorney general, he will emphasize civil rights and fight domestic terror, Reuters reported.
Garland has been on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. since 1997. Former President Barack Obama nominated the judge in 2016 for the Supreme Court after conservative former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died.
Senate Republicans blocked Garland’s confirmation vote, contending at the time that the vote shouldn’t happen during an election year under a president’s final term.
“John, every person in the Department of Justice takes their cue, takes their perspective on what they do and their approach to their job from the attorney general directly. So it’s really hard to overstate the significance of this, of this appointment,” McCabe said.
“There are very few people in this country that would bring that level of experience and measure to the job,” McCabe said.