Merrick Garland Dossier: Attorney General (DOJ), Terrorist-Torturer-In-Chief Of Targeted Individual Program, Defendant in TJ Lawsuit, Jewish Supremacist?

Epigraph Quote:

I want Merrick Garfinkel to stop culturally appropriating a White name while doing everything in his power to undermine and destroy White civilization.

3g4me; June 21, 2021

I. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland helped cover up Oklahoma bombing case 20 years ago

By Lysander
March 24, 2016

Merrick Garland

Merrick Garland, the man selected by President Obama to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, helped the Justice Department conceal and cover up important evidence regarding the Oklahoma City bombing during the 1990s.

William Grigg’s column is here.

Twenty years ago, Garland was a Justice Department lawyer working to keep lawyers for Timothy McVeigh (and other lawyers) from getting their hands on evidence of the government’s undercover role in causing the Oklahoma City bombing, and the related murder of Ken Trentadue.

II. Merrick Garland, Coconspirator In Coverup Of Oklahoma City Fedl Bldg Bombing

Christopher Emery’s documentary reveals the extent of prosecutor Merrick Garland’s coconspiracy in the OKC bombing coverup.

After years of investigation, film producer Christopher Emery created the documentary “A Noble Lie” about the government false flag or black op, the Oklahoma City bombing. His research revealed that ATF employees (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) whose offices were in the Murrah Building were notified on their pagers prior to the bombing not to show up at work. Nor were any of their children that day in the building’s daycare center. 

McVeigh had been an employee of the CIA, a sharpshooting assassin, much decorated for his talent. He had also been assigned to covert government drug cartel operations. His last commendation came while he was awaiting execution. He was given 2 million dollars in cash by his employers, who stole it back after the bombing as they simultaneously notified the Justice Department of McVeigh’s whereabouts.

Like Lee Harvey Oswald assigned to be in Dallas in the CIA assassination of President Kennedy, McVeigh was employed by the CIA. When Jim Garrison, New Orleans district attorney, asked fhe CIA in 1964 for records of Oswald’s employment, he was told they were destroyed accidentally in the copier.

Oswald with the CIA was assigned to infiltrate leftwing groups. McVeigh was assigned to infiltrate militia groups. The 911 black op’s mission was to create an excuse for the invasion of Afghanistan 6 weeks later. McVeigh’s mission was an excuse for the government crackdown on rightwing militia groups.

Emery gives documentation that the explosion could not have come from an exterior truck bomb, since debris was blown out from and not into the building.

Patrolman Terrance Yeakey, a first responder who arrived within 10 minutes, saved several lives. Yeakey, with detective skills, amassed bombing evidence and refused to go along with the official lie and was therefore intimidated and attacked. 

If there had been an exterior ammonium nitrate bomb, it would have been impossible to breathe the air. This was not true.

A year after the bombing, and shortly before he was to start work at the FBI, Yeakey was brutally murdered, although his death was ruled a suicide. For this to be true, however, Yeakey would have had to cut his wrists and neck before leaving and locking his car. He would then have had to climb a barbed-wire fence, walk more than a mile through a field, and then shoot himself through the head at an unusual angle. No gun was found. No investigation was conducted.’ The New York Times participated in the false story that Yeakey killed himself.” See Truth And Shadows link.

Merrick Garland was the Justice Department prosecutor of McVeigh who denied McVeigh access to the media, who successfully petitioned for the sealing of over 100 records, who denied OKC bombing witnesses their right to testify to the grand jury, and who arranged one of the hastiest executions in the 21st Century, a mere 5 years after the bombing. Thus achieved a permanent silencing of McVeigh. Hillary Clinton has supported his nomination and continues to lie about the 911 black op and the alleged murder of Osama Bin Laden. (OBL had died long before that.) 30 Navy Seals in the operation were murdered in a helicopter crash afterwards.

Oklahoma City media were complicit.

Nstarzone dot com makes the following points on its website:

a. In April 1995, the Omnibus Counter Terrorism Bill was being pushed through Congress. After the OKC Bombing occurred, it passed easily.

b. At 9am, theMurrah building ATF office was empty, which was unprecedented.

c. General Benton K. Partin, USAF (Ret.) stated in his OKC Bombing report to US Congress that bombs inside the building and not a truck bomb were the major factor in the destruction.

The following are a direct quote from nstarzone dot com

1. The ATF was already putting out a story that the Murrah Building was bombed “because of Waco” a few hours after the blast and before McVeigh was apprehended.

2. An unexploded bomb was found attached to a gas line inside the building, and a FEMA memo reports at least two additional bombs were found in the Murrah Building. Joe Harp, based on his military explosives experience, identified the additional bombs he saw removed from the building as being military in nature.

3 Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook told a victim in a taped conversation in 1995 that the OKC bombing was a failed a national security operation that used an FBI provocateur associated with a militia.

4. Prior to the OKC bombing US Senator Arlan Specter as well as Clinton’s NSC director Anthony Lake had been advocating federal national security operations to stop militias in America. Anthony Lake gave a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the Fall of 1994 in which he said the chief cornerstone of government policy was to “pit our society against militias”.”

Review of documentary A Noble Lie 

Radio Free Oklahoma on A Noble Lie

interview with Emery
/> (Yeakey photo)

III. Merrick Garland From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Merrick Garland
Official portrait of United States Attorney General Merrick Garland
Official portrait, 2021
86th United States Attorney General
Assumed office
March 11, 2021
President Joe Biden
Deputy Lisa Monaco
Preceded by William Barr
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
February 12, 2013 – February 11, 2020
Preceded by David B. Sentelle
Succeeded by Sri Srinivasan
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
March 20, 1997 – March 11, 2021
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Abner J. Mikva
Succeeded by Ketanji Brown Jackson
Personal details
Born Merrick Brian Garland

November 13, 1952 (age 70)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Spouse Lynn Rosenman

(m. 1987)​
Children 2
Residence(s) Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Education Harvard University (AB, JD)
Signature Cursive signature in ink

Merrick Brian Garland (born November 13, 1952) is an American lawyer and jurist serving since March 2021 as the 86th United States attorney general. He previously served as a U.S. circuit judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1997 to 2021.

A native of the Chicago area, Garland attended Harvard University for his undergraduate and legal education. After serving as a law clerk to Judge Henry J. Friendly of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr., he practiced corporate litigation at Arnold & Porter and worked as a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice, where he played a leading role in the investigation and prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombers. Garland was appointed to the D.C. Circuit in March 1997 by President Bill Clinton, and served as its chief judge from 2013 to 2020.

President Barack Obama, a Democrat, nominated Garland to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in March 2016 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia. However, the Republican Senate majority refused to hold a hearing or vote on his nomination. The unprecedented refusal of a Senate majority to consider the nomination was highly controversial. Garland’s nomination lasted 293 days (the longest to date by far), and it expired on January 3, 2017, at the end of the 114th Congress. Eventually, President Donald Trump, a Republican, nominated Neil Gorsuch to the vacant seat and the Republican Senate majority confirmed him.

President Joe Biden nominated Garland as attorney general in January 2021. He was confirmed by the Senate and took office in March of that same year.

1 Early life and education
2 Early career
3 Federal judicial service (1997–2021)
3.1 Appointment
3.2 Service as chief judge
3.3 Notable cases
3.3.1 Administrative and environmental law
3.3.2 Criminal law and whistleblower protection
3.3.3 National security
3.3.4 First Amendment
3.3.5 Second Amendment
3.3.6 Other cases
3.4 Retirement
4 Supreme Court nomination
4.1 2009 and 2010 considerations
4.2 Scalia vacancy and 2016 nomination
5 Attorney General (2021–present)
5.1 Civil rights
5.1.1 School board memo
5.2 Voting rights
5.3 January 6 U.S. Capitol attack
6 Personal life
7 Selected publications
8 See also
9 References
10 Further reading
11 External links

Early life and education

Merrick Brian Garland was born on November 13, 1952, in Chicago.[1] He grew up in the north Chicago border suburb of Lincolnwood.[2][3] His mother Shirley (née Horwitz; 1925–2016)[4] was a director of volunteer services at Chicago’s Council for Jewish Elderly (now called CJE SeniorLife). His father, Cyril Garland (1915–2000),[5] headed Garland Advertising, a small business run out of the family home.[3][6][7] Garland was raised in Conservative Judaism, the family name having been changed from Garfinkel several generations earlier. His grandparents left the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire in the early 20th century, fleeing antisemitic pogroms and seeking a better life for their children in the United States.[7][8] Two of his grandmother’s siblings were later murdered in the Holocaust.[9] He is a second cousin of six-term Iowa Governor and former Ambassador to China Terry Branstad.[10]

Garland attended Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois, where he was president of the student council, acted in theatrical productions, and was a member of the debate team.[11] He graduated in 1970 as the class valedictorian.[3][2] Garland was also a Presidential Scholar and National Merit Scholar.[12][13]

After high school, Garland studied social studies at Harvard University.[3][14][15] He initially wanted to become a physician, but soon decided to become a lawyer instead.[11] Garland allied himself with his future boss, Jamie Gorelick, when he was elected the only freshman member of a campus-wide committee on which Gorelick also served.[16] During his college summers Garland volunteered as a speechwriter to Congressman Abner J. Mikva.[16] After President Jimmy Carter appointed Mikva to the D.C. Circuit, Mikva would rely on Garland when hiring law clerks.[17] At Harvard, Garland wrote news articles and theater reviews for the Harvard Crimson and worked as a Quincy House tutor.[18][19] Garland wrote his 235-page honors thesis on industrial mergers in Britain in the 1960s.[16][20] Garland graduated from Harvard in 1974 with an A.B. summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Garland then attended Harvard Law School,[14] where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review. Garland ran for the presidency of the Law Review but lost to Susan Estrich, so he served as an articles editor instead.[16][15] As an articles editor, Garland assigned himself to edit a submission by U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan on the topic of the role of state constitutions in safeguarding individual rights.[16][17][21] This correspondence with Brennan later contributed to his winning a clerkship with the justice.[21] Garland graduated from Harvard Law in 1977 with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude.
Early career

After graduating from law school, Garland spent two years as a judicial law clerk, first for Judge Henry Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (New York City) from 1977 to 1978 and then for Justice William J. Brennan Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1978 to 1979.[15] After his clerkships, Garland spent two years as a special assistant to U.S. Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti.[3]

After the Carter administration ended in 1981, Garland entered private practice at the law firm Arnold & Porter.[3] Garland mostly practiced corporate litigation, and was made a partner in 1985.[3] In Motor Vehicles Manufacturers Ass’n v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (1983) Garland acted as counsel to an insurance company suing to reinstate an unpopular automatic seat belt mandate.[22] After winning the case in both the District of Columbia Circuit Court and the Supreme Court, Garland wrote an 87-page Harvard Law Review article describing the way courts use a heightened “hard look” standard of review and scope of review when an agency chooses deregulation, with increasing focus on the fidelity of the agencies’ actions to congressional intent.[22] In 1985–86, while at Arnold & Porter, Garland was a lecturer at Harvard Law School, where he taught antitrust law.[15][23] He also published an article in the Yale Law Journal urging a broader application of antitrust immunity to state and local governments.[22]

Desiring to return to public service and do more trial work, in 1989 Garland became an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. As a line prosecutor, Garland represented the government in criminal cases ranging from drug trafficking to complex public corruption matters.[3] Garland was one of the three principal prosecutors who handled the investigation into Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry’s possession of cocaine.[24]

Garland then briefly returned to Arnold & Porter, working there from 1992 to 1993.[16] In 1993, Garland joined the new Clinton administration as deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice.[3] The following year, Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick – a key mentor of Garland’s[25] – asked Garland to be her principal associate deputy attorney general.[3][26]

In that role, Garland’s responsibilities included the supervision of high-profile domestic-terrorism cases, including the Oklahoma City bombing, Ted Kaczynski (also known as the “Unabomber”), and the Atlanta Olympics bombings.[3][27]

Garland insisted on being sent to Oklahoma City in the aftermath of the attack, in order to examine the crime scene and oversee the investigation in preparation for the prosecution.[28] He represented the government at the preliminary hearings of the two main defendants, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.[28] Garland offered to lead the trial team, but could not because he was needed at the Justice Department headquarters. Instead, he helped pick the team and supervised it from Washington, D.C., where he was involved in major decisions, including the choice to seek the death penalty for McVeigh and Nichols.[28] Garland won praise for his work on the case from the Republican Governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating.[3]

Garland served as co-chair of the administrative law section of the District of Columbia Bar from 1991 to 1994.[15][29] He is also a member of the American Law Institute.[15]

In 2003, Garland was elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers, completing the unexpired term of Deval Patrick, who had stepped down from the board.[30] Garland served as president of the overseers for 2009–10.[31]
Federal judicial service (1997–2021)
Garland in 2016 as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

On September 6, 1995, President Bill Clinton nominated Garland to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia seat vacated by his longtime mentor Abner J. Mikva.[16] Justice Brennan, for whom Garland clerked, recommended Garland for the position in a letter to Clinton.[21] The American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary unanimously gave Garland a “well-qualified” committee rating, its highest.[32]

On December 1, 1995, Garland received a hearing regarding the nomination before the Senate Judiciary Committee.[33] In Senate confirmation hearings Garland said that the Supreme Court justices whom he most admired were Justice Brennan, for whom he clerked, and Chief Justice John Marshall. Garland also expressed admiration for the writing style of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.[34] However, Senate Republicans did not schedule a vote on Garland’s confirmation,[3] not because of concerns over Garland’s qualifications, but because of a dispute over whether to fill the seat.[23][35]

After winning the November 1996 presidential election, Clinton renominated Garland on January 7, 1997.[36] He was confirmed on March 19, 1997 by a 76–23 vote.[37] The majority of Republican senators voted to confirm Garland, including Senators John McCain, Orrin Hatch, Susan Collins, and Jim Inhofe.[38] Senators Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, and Jeff Sessions were among those who voted against Garland.[38] All of the 23 “no” votes came from Republicans, and all were said to be based “on whether there was even a need for an eleventh seat” on the D.C. Circuit.[39] He received his judicial commission on March 20, 1997.[40]
Service as chief judge

Garland became chief judge of the D.C. Circuit on February 12, 2013.[41] As chief judge, Garland announced in May 2013 that the D.C. Circuit had unanimously decided to provide the public with same-day audio recordings of oral arguments in the court.[42][43][40] As chief judge, Garland was an active member of the Judicial Conference of the United States,[44] and was involved in the formulation of new rules to protect federal judicial branch employees from workplace harassment, which were adopted in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Alex Kozinski.[44][45] Garland’s seven-year term as chief judge ended on February 11, 2020, with Judge Sri Srinivasan succeeding him.[44] Garland continued to serve as an active member of the court until his retirement.[46][47][40]

Notable cases

Garland is considered a judicial moderate and a centrist.[48] Garland has been described by Nina Totenberg and Carrie Johnson of NPR as “a moderate liberal, with a definite pro-prosecution bent in criminal cases”.[3] Tom Goldstein, the publisher of SCOTUSblog, wrote in 2010 that “Judge Garland’s record demonstrates that he is essentially the model, neutral judge. He is acknowledged by all to be brilliant. His opinions avoid unnecessary, sweeping pronouncements.”[23] Garland has a reputation for collegiality and his opinions rarely draw a dissent.[49] As of 2016, Garland had written just fifteen dissents in his two decades on the court, fewer than his colleague Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who wrote some 17 dissents over the previous decade.[49]

Administrative and environmental law

Garland has tended to favor deference to regulatory agencies.[50] For example, in In re Aiken County (2013), Garland dissented when the court issued mandamus ordering the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to process the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository license.[51] In Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration (2013), Garland joined a divided court upholding the DEA’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug.[11] However, according to Goldstein, in a number of split decisions on environmental law Garland “favored contested EPA regulations and actions when challenged by industry, and in other cases he has accepted challenges brought by environmental groups.”[23] In Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton (2003), Garland found the arroyo toad was protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.[52] Circuit Judge John Roberts dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc, writing that Congress’s interstate commerce power cannot reach “a hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California.”[53]

Criminal law and whistleblower protection

While on the bench, Garland has shown a tendency to be deferential to the government in criminal cases, siding with prosecutors in ten of the fourteen criminal cases in which he disagreed with a colleague.[54] For example, in United States v. Watson (1999), Garland dissented when the court concluded a prosecutor’s closing argument was unduly prejudicial, objecting that a conviction should be reversed for only “the most egregious of these kind of errors.”[54] In 2007, Garland dissented when the en banc D.C. Circuit reversed the conviction of a Washington, D.C. police officer who had accepted bribes in an FBI sting operation.[55]

Garland has taken a broad view of whistleblower protection laws, such as the False Claims Act (FCA),[56] which creates a private cause of action against those defrauding the federal government.[55] For example, in United States ex rel. Yesudian v. Howard University (1998), Garland wrote for the court in holding that a plaintiff alleging he had been fired by Howard University for whistleblowing could sue under the FCA for retaliation.[23] In United States ex rel. Totten v. Bombardier Corp. (2004), Garland dissented when the court, in an opinion written by Judge John Roberts, held that the FCA did not apply to false claims submitted to Amtrak because Amtrak is not the government.[55][56] Roberts justified his narrow reading by citing a book by Circuit Judge Henry Friendly.[57] In dissent, Garland (who like Roberts had clerked for Friendly), cited Friendly’s book as supporting the use of legislative intent,[55] writing that Roberts was relying on “‘canons’ of statutory construction, which serve there as ‘cannons’ of statutory destruction.”[56][58] Garland’s dissent, expressing concerns that the court’s ruling would impede the government’s ability to pursue false claims cases against federal grantees, is credited with sparking the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, which eliminated the loophole.[56] During confirmation hearings in 2005, Senator Chuck Grassley sharply questioned Roberts on why he had not adopted Garland’s reading.[55] Roberts replied, “Any time Judge Garland disagrees, you know you’re in a difficult area.”[55]

National security

During Garland’s tenure, the D.C. Circuit reviewed cases arising from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. In al Odah v. United States (2003), a panel that included Garland unanimously held that federal courts could not hear challenges from Guantanamo detainees.[23] In July 2011, Garland wrote for the unanimous panel when it rejected Guantanamo detainee Moath Hamza Ahmed al Alawi’s petition for habeas corpus.[59][60] In Parhat v. Gates (2008), Garland wrote for a panel that unanimously overturned the Combatant Status Review Tribunal’s determination that a captured Uyghur was an enemy combatant.[61] In Saleh v. Titan Corp. (2009), Garland dissented from the court’s holding that former Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison could not sue private military contractors who participated in torture and prisoner abuse. Garland wrote that the suit should be allowed to proceed because “no act of Congress and no judicial precedent” immunized the contractors from tort liability, the Federal Tort Claims Act specifically excludes contractors, and tort liability would not interfere with government operations.[62][63][64]

First Amendment

According to Goldstein, Garland has “tended to take a broader view” of First Amendment rights.[23] In cases involving the Freedom of Information Act and similar provisions related to government transparency, “Judge Garland’s rulings reflect a preference for open government.”[23] In ACLU v. CIA (2013), Garland wrote for a panel unanimously rejecting the agency’s Glomar response and ordering it to process the ACLU’s FOIA request regarding targeted killings by CIA drones.[65] In Cause of Action v. FTC (2015), Garland wrote for a panel unanimously overturning the agency’s limitation on FOIA fee waivers to large news outlets.[65]

In Lee v. Department of Justice (2005), Garland dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc after the D.C. Circuit affirmed the district court’s order holding reporters in contempt of court for refusing to testify about their anonymous sources during the Wen Ho Lee investigation.[64][66] Garland wrote that the panel had erred in failing to “weigh the public interest in protecting the reporter’s sources against the private interest in compelling disclosure” and that the decision “undermined the Founders’ intention to protect the press ‘so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people.'”[66] In Initiative & Referendum Institute v. U.S. Postal Service (2005), Garland wrote for the court, holding that a U.S. Postal Service regulation banning signature-gathering for petitions at post offices violated the First Amendment.[23][66] Garland found the regulation to be facially overbroad and not narrowly tailored.[66]

In cases involving campaign finance reform laws, Garland has applied Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission when he believed that he was compelled to do so, but he has not sought to extend its holding.[64] In Wagner v. Federal Election Commission (2015), Garland wrote for the unanimous en banc D.C. Circuit in upholding a prohibition on campaign contributions from federal contractors because of the governmental interest in preventing corruption.[64][67] In National Association of Manufacturers v. Taylor (2009), Garland wrote for the court in a decision upholding the constitutionality of lobbyist disclosure requirements under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.[42][67] Professor Rick Hasen, an election-law expert, writes that Garland’s opinions on election law are characterized by careful application of precedent and indicate that Garland believes in reasonable regulation.[67]

Garland has addressed a number of religious freedom cases while on the D.C. Circuit, although several of these have been decided on procedural grounds.[68] In 2002, Garland joined a unanimous court in ruling for two federal prisoners who were denied the right to consume communion wine.[68][69] In 2010, Garland wrote the decision for a unanimous court in favor of an Interior Department employee who brought a religious-discrimination claim after the Interior Department refused to allow her to work weekdays rather than Sunday, when she wished to attend church and Bible study.[68][70]
Second Amendment

In 2007, Garland voted in favor of en banc review of the D.C. Circuit’s panel decision in Parker v. District of Columbia invalidating the D.C. handgun ban. The Supreme Court subsequently affirmed this invalidation 5–4 in an opinion by Justice Scalia.[23]
Other cases

In Alexander v. Daley (2003), Garland joined a decision (authored by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly), rejecting a challenge brought by District of Columbia residents seeking D.C. congressional voting rights.[24][71]

In Hutchins v. District of Columbia (1999), Garland concurred with four other D.C. Circuit judges (en banc) that D.C.’s Juvenile Curfew Act of 1995 implicated at least some significant right of minors.[72] He joined parts of a plurality opinion written by Judge Laurence Silberman that upheld the juvenile curfew under intermediate scrutiny and a vagueness challenge. Garland also joined the part of Judge Judith W. Rogers’s opinion (concurring in part and dissenting in part) holding that a fundamental right to intrastate travel exists.[73]

Garland retired from federal judicial service on March 11, 2021, to accept appointment as the Attorney General of the United States.[40]
Supreme Court nomination

Garland was considered twice to fill vacated seats on the United States Supreme Court in 2009 and 2010, before finally being nominated in 2016 by President Barack Obama for the seat left vacant by the death of conservative Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.[74]

2009 and 2010 considerations

In 2009, following the announcement by Justice David Souter that he would retire, Garland was considered as one of nine finalists for the post, which ultimately went to Sonia Sotomayor, then a judge of the Second Circuit.[75]

After the April 2010 announcement by Justice John Paul Stevens that he would retire, Garland was again widely seen as a leading contender for a nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States.[76][77][78] President Obama interviewed Garland, among others, for the vacancy.[48] In May 2010, Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, said he would help Obama if Garland was nominated, calling Garland “a consensus nominee” and predicting that Garland would win Senate confirmation with bipartisan support.[79][80] Obama nominated Solicitor General of the United States Elena Kagan, who was confirmed in August 2010.[48]

Scalia vacancy and 2016 nomination

Main article: Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination
Garland with President Barack Obama in 2016

On February 13, 2016, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died.[81] Later that day, Senate Republicans led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement that they would not consider any nominee put forth by Obama, and that a Supreme Court nomination should be left to the next president of the United States.[82][83][84] President Obama responded that he intended to “fulfill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court,”[85][86] and that there was no “well established tradition” that a president could not fill a Supreme Court vacancy during their last year in office.[87]

In early March 2016, The New York Times reported that Garland was being vetted by the Obama Administration as a potential nominee. A week later, Garland was named as one of three judges on the President’s “short list” (along with Judge Sri Srinivasan, also of the D.C. Circuit, and Judge Paul J. Watford of the Ninth Circuit). Obama interviewed all three leading contenders, as well as two others who were being considered: Judge Jane L. Kelly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.[88] Soon afterward, Senator Orrin Hatch, President pro tempore of the United States Senate and the most senior Republican Senator, predicted that President Obama would “name someone the liberal Democratic base wants” even though he “could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man.”[89] Five days later, on March 16, Obama formally nominated Garland to the vacant post of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.[90][91]

Garland had more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history,[38] and was the oldest Supreme Court nominee since Lewis F. Powell Jr. in 1971.[92] The American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary unanimously rated Garland “well-qualified” (its highest rating) to sit on the Supreme Court.[93]

Under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s Republican majority refused to consider Garland’s nomination, holding “no hearings, no votes, no action whatsoever” on the nomination.[94][95][96] McConnell’s categorical refusal to hold hearings on Garland’s nomination was described by political scientists and legal scholars as unprecedented,[95][97][98] McConnell’s choice to lead a Republican blockade of the nomination was described as a “culmination of [his] confrontational style,”[99] and an example of constitutional hardball.[100] Yascha Mounk called it a “blatant abuse of constitutional norms.”[101]

After a period of 293 days, Garland’s nomination expired on January 3, 2017, at the end of the 114th Congress.[102] It was the longest confirmation delay of a Supreme Court nominee in history, far exceeding the 125-day delay faced by the ultimately confirmed Justice Louis Brandeis in 1916.[103] On January 31, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Court vacancy.[104] On April 7, 2017, the Senate confirmed Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

McConnell went on to boast about stopping Garland’s nomination, saying in August 2016, “one of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, ‘Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.'”[105][106] In April 2018, McConnell said the decision not to act upon the Garland nomination was “the most consequential decision I’ve made in my entire public career”.[107]
Attorney General (2021–present)

Garland is sworn in as Attorney General in March 2021.

President-elect Joe Biden selected Garland for the position of United States attorney general, with news of the selection coming on January 6, 2021.[108][109] He was formally nominated by Biden on January 20, after Biden took office.[110] In Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings, Garland vowed to oversee vigorous prosecution of those who stormed the United States Capitol, and other domestic extremists, drawing on his experience prosecuting the perpetrators of the Oklahoma City bombing.[111][112][113] Garland said it was likely the Biden administration would place a moratorium on use of the federal death penalty and expressed reservations about the death penalty in light of the “almost randomness or arbitrariness of its application.”[113] He pledged to protect equal justice under law and reinvigorate the DOJ Civil Rights Division, which, according to some media figures, languished under the Trump administration.[112][114] Garland affirmed that the Justice Department would remain independent under his leadership.[113] The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 15–7 to advance Garland’s nomination to the Senate floor,[115][116] and on March 10, the Senate confirmed Garland’s nomination by a vote of 70–30.[117][111][118] He was sworn in on March 11, 2021, by Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus.[119]

In April 2021, Russia imposed sanctions against Garland, including prohibiting him from entering Russia. This was in retaliation for U.S. expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats, a sanction imposed by the United States against Russia for its SolarWinds hack, aggression against Ukraine, and interference in the 2020 U.S. election.[120]

In May 2021, the DOJ appealed in part a ruling by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District Court for the District of Columbia to make public most of a DOJ memo detailing former Attorney General Bill Barr’s legal rationale for clearing President Trump of obstruction of justice in the Special Counsel investigation.[121][122][123][124]

On June 7, 2021, the Justice Department continued its defense of a defamation lawsuit by E. Jean Carroll, arguing that President Trump could not be sued because he had denied her rape allegation in offending statements in his presidential capacity. Garland had been deeply involved in the decision. The White House quickly distanced itself from the decision.[121][122][125] Garland in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on October 21 stated that the DOJ’s briefing was solely on the question of the application of the Federal Tort Claims Act.[126][127]

On July 1, 2021, Garland imposed a moratorium on all federal executions pending a review of relevant policies and procedures.[128] The review will examine “the risk of pain and suffering associated with the use of pentobarbital,” “regulations made in November 2020 that expanded the permissible methods of execution beyond lethal injection, and authorized the use of state facilities and personnel in federal executions”, and “December 2020 and January 2021 changes to expedite execution of capital sentences.”[128][129][130] This was consistent with Biden’s pledge to push for legislation to end the federal death penalty. In spite of this, Garland has continued to pursue the death penalty in cases wherein a previous administration had sought the death penalty against a suspected terrorist.[131] The Trump administration resumed federal executions in 2019, and executed 13 inmates in total, the first in 17 years and including the first woman in 70 years.[129][130]
Civil rights

During Garland’s tenure as AG, the Justice Department has emphasized protection of civil rights.[132] Garland rescinded a Trump administration policy (imposed by Jeff Sessions) that curtailed DOJ investigations into police department misconduct (“pattern-and-practice” investigations) and restricted the use of consent decrees to reform police departments.[132][133][134]

On April 21, 2021, Garland subsequently announced that the DOJ was opening a pattern-and-practice investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department after former officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for the murder of George Floyd, examining the use of force by officers and discriminatory conduct, its treatment of people with behavioral health issues, and the department’s current accountability systems.[135] On April 26, Garland announced another investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department in the aftermath of the killing of Breonna Taylor, examining the execution of search warrants.[136][137] On August 5, Garland opened another investigation into the Phoenix Police Department over its policies on dealing with the homeless.[138][139] On December 3, the DOJ opened another investigation into the Mount Vernon Police Department to assess if it engaged in discriminatory policing, involving its use of force, strip and body cavity searches, how it handles evidence, and its systems of accountability.[140][141]

In June 2021, the DOJ, through a memo issued by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, reversed a Trump-era policy that banned federal officers and agents from using body-worn cameras; the memo also mandated the use of body-worn cameras for federal law enforcement in certain circumstances (including when carrying out planned arrests or executing search warrants).[142][143][144]

On September 14, 2021, the DOJ announced a civil investigation into prisons in Georgia, focusing on prison violence and sexual abuse of LGBTQ prisoners by prisoners and staff, continuing with an initial investigation launched in 2016.[145][146][147]

In September, 2021, the DOJ in a memo limited the use of chokeholds and carotid restraints by federal officers during arrests, prohibiting such tactics unless deadly force is authorized (i.e., unless the officer reasonably believes “that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person”). The memo also limited the use of unannounced (“no-knock”) entries when executing warrants, directing officers to knock-and-announce except “where an agent has reasonable grounds to believe that knocking and announcing the agent’s presence would create an imminent threat of physical violence to the agent and/or another person.”[148][149][150]

On October 13, 2021, the DOJ launched another investigation into five juvenile detention facilities in Texas for systemic physical or sexual abuse of children.[146][151]
School board memo

In October 2021, amid a surge of threats against school board members across the country, Garland issued a memorandum addressing an “increase in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff”; the memo directed the FBI and US attorneys’ offices to set up meetings with federal, state and local law enforcement leaders for establishing tiplines for threat reporting and discussing strategies to address such threats.[152][153][126][154] He issued the memo soon after the National School Boards Association wrote to Biden to request a federal response to the protests and threats against school officials and investigations into whether they constituted as forms of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.[155][156][157][158]

The memo prompted criticism from Republicans in the House and Senate, who accused Garland of treating parents like domestic terrorists, although the memo did not mention either terrorism or parents.[154] McConnell wrote to Garland that parents “absolutely should be telling” local schools what to teach regarding contentious public issues.[153][159] In House and Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Garland pushed back on Republicans’ claims that the DOJ were treating parents like “domestic terrorists” and investigating political speech, testifying that the DOJ “[were] not investigating peaceful protest or parent involvement at school board meetings.”[126][127][160][161] Numerous Senate Republicans called on Garland to resign over the memo.[162] Seventeen Republican state attorneys general led by Todd Rokita, and numerous House Republicans, separately wrote to Biden and Garland requesting the memorandum be immediately withdrawn.[154][158][160]

Voting rights

In June 2021, Garland pledged to double the department’s enforcement staff for protecting the right to vote, in response to Republican Party efforts to restrict voting following the 2020 presidential election,[163][164] The same month, Garland announced a DOJ lawsuit against the state of Georgia over its newly passed restrictions on voting; the DOJ complaint said that the state targeted Black Americans in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[165]

In July 2021, the Justice Department released two guidance documents regarding election law changes and post-election audits, reminding states that the DOJ was closely observing states’ compliance with federal election and civil rights laws.[121][166][167]

In November 2021, the DOJ sued Texas over Senate Bill 1 which required rejection of mail ballots “for immaterial errors and omissions,” alleging it would restrict voting for those with limited English proficiency, soldiers deployed and voters overseas.[168][169]

In a separate suit filed by DOJ against Texas the following month, the federal government alleged that Texas’ redistricting plans discriminated against Latino and Black voters in violation of the Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.[170][171][172][173]

January 6 U.S. Capitol attack

Further information: January 6 United States Capitol attack

On July 26, 2021, the DOJ sent letters to former DOJ officials of the Trump administration, including Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen, Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, Associate Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hovakimian, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung J. “BJay” Pak, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Bobby L. Christine, and United States Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division and Civil Division Jeffrey Clark.[174] The letters relayed that the DOJ would not exert executive privilege over their testimony as witnesses to Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election or the 2021 United States Capitol attack, and that they were free to provide “unrestricted testimony” and “irrespective of potential privilege” to the House Oversight Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee.[174][175][176][177]

On July 28, 2021, the DOJ further rejected Rep. Mo Brooks’s request to protect him in Eric Swalwell’s civil lawsuit against him and President Trump concerning his comments and actions in the attack. The DOJ in a court filing determined that Brooks’ relevant comments and actions were outside the scope of his official responsibilities as a member of Congress.[178]

On October 21, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to refer Steve Bannon, the adviser to former President Donald Trump, to the DOJ for criminial contempt of Congress due to defying a subpoena from the House’s January 6 select committee over claims of executive privilege. After Speaker Nancy Pelosi certified the contempt referral, it was sent to the U.S. Attorney for DC, who will then decide whether to send the referral to a grand jury for indictment, with Garland having the final say.[179] Garland told lawmakers that the Justice Department “will apply the facts and the law and make a decision” when considering a criminal contempt referral for Bannon. He stated that “the Department of Justice will do what it always does in such circumstances, we’ll apply the facts and the law and make a decision, consistent with the principles of prosecution.”[126][127][179][180]

In November 2022, days after Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign, Garland appointed Jack Smith to serve as special counsel for the investigations of Trump.[181][182]

Personal life

Garland and his wife, Lynn, were married at the Harvard Club in Manhattan in September 1987. Lynn Rosenman Garland’s grandfather, Samuel Irving Rosenman, was a justice of the New York Supreme Court (a trial-level court) and a special counsel to presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. She graduated from the Brearley School in Manhattan and cum laude from Harvard University and received a Master of Science degree in operations management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her father, Robert Rosenman, was a partner in the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.[6] As of June 2018, she advised government and nonprofit groups on voting systems security and accuracy issues.[183]

Garland and his wife have two daughters, Rebecca and Jessica; both are graduates of Yale University.[184] Justice Elena Kagan hired Jessica Garland, a 2019 graduate of Yale Law School, as one of her law clerks in early July 2020, before Biden’s election and Garland’s appointment, to serve as a law clerk in 2022–2023. The Supreme Court said that “in light of the potential for actual or apparent conflicts of interest,” Jessica Garland will not serve as Kagan’s law clerk while her father remains as attorney general.[185] Garland took part in the ceremony when his daughter Rebecca married Xan Tanner in June 2018.[183]

Garland is a resident of Bethesda, Maryland.[186] Financial disclosure forms in 2016 indicated that Garland’s net worth at the time was between $6 million and $23 million.[17] Garland is partially colorblind, so he uses a list to match his suits and ties.[17]

Selected publications

Garland, Merrick B. (1985). “Deregulation and Judicial Review” (PDF). Harvard Law Review. 98 (3): 505–591. doi:10.2307/1340869. JSTOR 1340869.
——— (1987). “Antitrust and Federalism: A Response to Professor Wiley”. The Yale Law Journal. 96 (6): 1291–1295. doi:10.2307/796386. JSTOR 796386.
——— (1987). “Antitrust and State Action: Economic Efficiency and the Political Process”. The Yale Law Journal. 96 (3): 486–519. doi:10.2307/796502. JSTOR 796502.
——— (April 22, 1985). “Courts Give Deregulatory Policies New Hard Look”. Legal Times. Vol. 8, no. 32.
———; Pitofsky, Robert (1984). “Chapter 48: Federal Trade Commission Investigations”. In von Kalinowski, Julian O. (ed.). Antitrust Counseling and Litigation Techniques. Vol. 4. New York: Bender. OCLC 917754819.
Fitzpatrick, James F.; Garland, Merrick B. (August 20, 1983). “The Court, ‘Veto’ and Airbags”. The New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
Garland, Merrick B. (1976). “The Supreme Court, 1975 Term: Commercial Speech”. Harvard Law Review. 90 (1): 142. doi:10.2307/1340306. JSTOR 1340306.
——— (1976). “The State Action Exemption and Antitrust Enforcement under the Federal Trade Commission Act”. Harvard Law Review. 89 (4): 715–751. doi:10.2307/1340219. JSTOR 1340219.
“Merrick Garland collected writings”. The Harvard Crimson. 1972–73.

See also

Barack Obama Supreme Court candidates
Barack Obama judicial appointment controversies
List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States (Seat 3)
List of nominations to the Supreme Court of the United States
List of Jewish American jurists


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“On the Nomination (Confirmation: Merrick Brian Garland, of Maryland, to be Attorney General)”. U.S. Senate. March 10, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
Rogers, Alex (March 10, 2021). “Senate confirms Merrick Garland as attorney general”. CNN. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
@TheJusticeDept (March 11, 2021). “Judge Merrick Garland takes his oath of office as the 86th Attorney General of the United States as he is sworn in by Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus” (Tweet). Retrieved March 11, 2021 – via Twitter.
“Russia retaliates for US diplomatic expulsions”. BBC News. April 16, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
Perez, Evan (July 28, 2021). “Liberals may end up liking much of Garland’s Justice Department after all”. CNN. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Benner, Katie (July 9, 2021). “Garland Settles In but Trump Era Still Shadows the Justice Dept”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Savage, Charlie (May 25, 2021). “The Justice Dept. will fight to keep secret most of a Barr-era memo on whether Trump obstructed the Russia inquiry”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Schmidt, Michael S. (May 4, 2021). “Judge Says Barr Misled on How His Justice Dept. Viewed Trump’s Actions”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on May 4, 2021. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Feuer, Alan; Weiser, Benjamin (June 8, 2021). “Biden Justice Department Seeks to Defend Trump in Suit Over Rape Denial”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Sneed, Tierney (October 31, 2021). “Takeaways from Merrick Garland’s hearing with the House Judiciary Committee”. CNN. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
Sneed, Tierney (October 21, 2021). “Garland: DOJ ‘will apply the facts and the law’ when considering Bannon referral”. CNN. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
“Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Imposes a Moratorium on Federal Executions; Orders Review of Policies and Procedures”. (Press release). July 1, 2021. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Swanson, Ian (July 1, 2021). “Garland imposes moratorium on federal executions”. The Hill. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Lynch, Sarah N.; Beech, Eric (July 1, 2021). “U.S. attorney general imposes moratorium on federal executions”. Reuters. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Weiser, Benjamin (January 7, 2023). “Suspect in Bike Path Killing Faces First Death Penalty Trial Under Biden”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
Balsamo, Michael (April 17, 2021). “Garland rescinds Trump-era memo curtailing consent decrees”. Associated Press. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
Benner, Katie (April 16, 2021). “Justice Dept. Restores Use of Consent Decrees for Police Abuses”. The New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
Carrega, Christina; Cole, Devan (August 5, 2021). “DOJ opens investigation into how Phoenix Police Department treats city’s homeless residents”. CNN. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
Balsamo, Michael; Forliti, Amy (April 21, 2021). “Garland announces sweeping police probe after Floyd verdict”. Associated Press. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
Farivar, Masood (April 26, 2021). “2nd Police Department Under Investigation Following Chauvin Conviction”. Voice of America. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
Levine, Mike; Mallin, Alexander (April 26, 2021). “AG Garland announces investigation of Louisville PD’s policing practices”. ABC News. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
Nakamura, David (August 5, 2021). “Justice Dept. opens civil rights investigation into Phoenix police department”. Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
“Justice Department Announces Investigation of the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department”. (Press release). August 5, 2021. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
“Justice Department Launches Investigation of the Mount Vernon Police Department”. (Press release). December 3, 2021. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
Reimann, Nicholas (December 3, 2021). “Feds Launch Sweeping Probe Of Suburban N.Y. Police Department Over Discrimination Claims”. Forbes. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
Carrega, Christina; Campbell, Josh (June 7, 2021). “DOJ ends policy that prohibited federal officers from using body-worn cameras”. CNN. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
Zapotosky, Matt (June 7, 2021). “Justice Dept. will require its law enforcement officers to use body cameras in certain circumstances”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 10, 2022.
“Justice Department Announces First Federal Agents to Use Body-Worn Cameras”. (Press release). September 1, 2021. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
Carrega, Christina (September 14, 2021). “Justice Department announces investigation into Georgia prisons”. CNN. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
Sneed, Tierney (October 20, 2021). “‘Big, big shifts’: How Biden’s civil rights pros have reoriented the Justice Department”. CNN. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
“Justice Department Announces Investigation into Conditions in Georgia Prisons”. (Press release). September 14, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
“Department of Justice Announces Department-Wide Policy on Chokeholds and ‘No-Knock’ Entries”. (Press release). September 14, 2021. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
Carrega, Christina; Nickeas, Peter (September 14, 2021). “Justice Department limits use of chokeholds and ‘no-knock’ warrants”. CNN. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
Tucker, Emma (September 15, 2021). “Bans on chokeholds for federal officers latest in nationwide push to hold police to a ‘higher standard'”. CNN. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
“Justice Department Announces Investigation into Conditions at Five Juvenile Facilities in Texas”. (Press release). October 13, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
“Justice Department Addresses Violent Threats Against School Officials and Teachers”. (Press release). October 4, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
LeBlanc, Paul (October 9, 2021). “McConnell challenges Garland on DOJ effort to address threats against public school board members and teachers”. CNN. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
Feuer, Alan (November 5, 2021). “‘I Don’t Want to Die for It’: School Board Members Face Rising Threats”. New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
“NSBA, AASA Issue Joint Statement Calling for End to Threats and Violence Around Safe School Opening Decisions”. National School Boards Association. September 22, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
“National School Boards Association Asks for Federal Assistance to Stop Threats and Acts of Violence Against Public Education Leaders”. National School Boards Association. September 30, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
“National School Boards Association Statement in Response to Justice Department Action to Address Threats Against School Personnel”. National School Boards Association. October 4, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
Quilantan, Bianca (October 25, 2021). “School board group backtracks on letter for security help from DOJ”. Politico. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
Kennedy, Brigid (October 21, 2021). “9 House Republicans vote with Democrats to hold Steve Bannon in contempt for defying Jan. 6 subpoena”. The Week. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
Perez, Evan; Sneed, Tierney (October 26, 2021). “Garland faces relentless GOP pressure after issuing memo on school board threats”. CNN. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
Sneed, Tierney (October 27, 2021). “Attorney General Merrick Garland defends memo responding to threats of violence against school board members”. CNN. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
“GOP senators erupt at Garland in heated hearing. Cooper says they misrepresent the facts”. CNN. October 28, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
“Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivered a Policy Address Regarding Voting Rights”. June 11, 2021. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
Phillips, Kristine (June 11, 2021). “AG Merrick Garland vows to protect voting rights, beef up DOJ civil rights division”. USA TODAY. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
Cole, Devan; Carrega, Christina; Schouten, Fredreka; Perez, Evan; de Vogue, Ariane; Gallagher, Dianne (June 25, 2021). “Justice Department suing Georgia over voting restrictions”. CNN. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
“Justice Department Issues Guidance on Federal Statutes Regarding Voting Methods and Post-Election “Audits””. (Press release). July 28, 2021. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Sneed, Tierney (July 28, 2021). “Justice Department puts states on notice about post-election audits and election law changes”. CNN. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
“Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against the State of Texas to Protect Voting Rights”. (Press release). November 4, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
Perez, Evan (November 4, 2021). “Justice Department sues Texas over new voting restrictions”. CNN. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
“Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against the State of Texas to Challenge Statewide Redistricting Plans”. (Press release). December 6, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
“Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks Announcing Lawsuit Against the State of Texas to Challenge Statewide Redistricting Plan”. December 6, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
Timm, Jane C. (December 6, 2021). “In lawsuit, DOJ says Texas voting maps discriminate against Black and Latino voters”. NBC News. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
Sneed, Tierney; Carrega, Christina (December 6, 2021). “DOJ sues Texas over Republican-approved redistricting maps”. CNN. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
Weinsheimer, Bradley (July 26, 2021). “Testimony to Congress” (PDF). Letter to Jeffrey A. Rosen. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 27, 2021. Retrieved August 27, 2021 – via
Perez, Evan (July 27, 2021). “Trump officials can testify on former President’s actions leading up to insurrection, Justice Department decides”. CNN. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
Benner, Katie (July 27, 2021). “Trump officials can testify in inquiries into efforts to subvert election outcome and Jan 6 riot, Justice Dept. says”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
Swan, Betsy Woodruff; Desiderio, Andrew (July 27, 2021). “DOJ: Former Trump officials can testify about Jan 6 Capitol attack”. Politico. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
Cohen, Marshall; Sneed, Tierney (July 28, 2021). “DOJ won’t protect GOP Rep. Mo Brooks in insurrection lawsuit”. CNN. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Foran, Clare; Cohen, Zachary; Nobles, Ryan (October 21, 2021). “House votes to hold Steve Bannon in contempt for defying subpoena”. CNN. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
Sneed, Tierney; Schneider, Jessica (October 20, 2021). “Bannon contempt vote puts Attorney General Merrick Garland in center of legal and political storm”. CNN. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
“Garland names Jack Smith special counsel for Trump criminal probes”. POLITICO. November 18, 2022. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
Thrush, Glenn; Savage, Charlie; Haberman, Maggie; Feuer, Alan (November 18, 2022). “Garland Names Special Counsel for Trump Inquiries”. The New York Times. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
“Rebecca Garland, Xan Tanner”. The New York Times. June 17, 2018. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 9, 2021.
Flores, Reena; Shabad, Rebecca (March 16, 2016). “Who is Merrick Garland?”. CBS News. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
Scarcella, Mike (July 20, 2021). “AG Garland’s daughter won’t clerk at SCOTUS while dad’s in office”. Reuters. Retrieved October 9, 2021.

Metcalf, Andrew (March 16, 2016). “Obama Nominates Bethesda Resident Merrick Garland to Serve on U.S. Supreme Court”. Bethesda Magazine. Retrieved March 30, 2016.

Further reading

“Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees for Merrick Garland” (PDF). Washington, D.C.: United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
Manuel, Kate M.; Murrill, Brandon J.; Nolan, Andrew, eds. (April 27, 2016). Judge Merrick Garland: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service. R44479. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
Mason, R. Chuck, ed. (May 2, 2016). Majority, Concurring, and Dissenting Opinions Authored by Judge Merrick Garland (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service. R44484. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
Kar, Robin Bradley; Mazzone, Jason (March 21, 2016). “The Garland Affair: What History and the Constitution Really Say About President Obama’s Powers to Appoint a Replacement for Justice Scalia”. NYU Law Review. 91: 53. SSRN 2752287. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
McMillion, Barry J. (March 16, 2016). Nominations to the Supreme Court During Presidential Election Years (1900-Present) (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service. IN10455. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
McMillion, Barry J. (October 1, 2020). Supreme Court Vacancies That Occurred During Presidential Election Years (1789-2020)] (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service. IN11514. Retrieved May 8, 2022.

External links
Merrick Garland
at Wikipedia’s sister projects

Media from Commons
Quotations from Wikiquote
Texts from Wikisource
Data from Wikidata

Biography at the United States Department of Justice
Merrick Garland at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
Selected Resources on Merrick B. Garland at the Law Library of Congress
Appearances on C-SPAN Edit this at Wikidata
“U.S. Senators on the nomination of Merrick Garland,” in Ballotpedia

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IV. Merrick Garland: Legal Entanglements

A. BREAKING NEWS: Parents Sue Attorney General Garland for Targeting their Right to Free Speech

BREAKING NEWS: Parents Sue Attorney General Garland for Targeting their Right to Free Speech

(Washington, D.C. – October 19, 2021) – Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, alleging that Garland’s recently announced policy to effectively criminalize public criticism of local school boards by parents violates the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of a group of parents from Saline, Michigan, and Loudoun County, Virginia.

Just recently, Attorney General Garland announced with some fanfare that he was calling upon the FBI and federal prosecutors to use the overwhelming power of the federal government’s criminal justice system to target those parents who dare to publicly criticize the local school boards that are indoctrinating their children with progressive claptrap disguised as school curricula. As set forth in the federal lawsuit:

In his October 4, 2021, “Memorandum For” Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Director, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and United States Attorneys (all responsible for investigating and prosecuting criminal activity), the Attorney General falsely states that “there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.” In his memorandum, the Attorney General gives a meaningless nod to the Constitution, stating, “While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views.” Yet, the AG Policy is, in fact, a heavy-handed, direct threat by a powerful government agency designed and intended “to intimidate individuals based on their views.”

The AG Policy states that the Department of Justice “is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats . . . and other forms of intimidation and harassment.” The AG Policy creates a “snitch line,” by “open[ing] dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.” In short, the AG Policy is a direct threat and warning to parents and private citizens across the United States, including Plaintiffs, that the Department of Justice and its FBI will be investigating you and monitoring what you say at these school board meetings so be careful about what you say and how you say it, thereby chilling such expression.

The October 4, 2021, memorandum is a one-page screed that rubber-stamps the claims of “progressive,” left-wing activists. It fails to address the Department of Justice’s lack of jurisdiction to intrude on interactions between parents and local school boards in the absence of any federal crime, and it fails to account for the fact that the First Amendment protects political dissent—even dissent that rises to the level of intimidation or harassment.

In this lawsuit, the plaintiffs, all of whom are concerned parents, are seeking a court order to halt the recently announced policy of the Attorney General to use federal law enforcement resources to silence parents and other private citizens who publicly object to and oppose the divisive, harmful, immoral, and racist policies of the “progressive” Left that are being implemented by school boards and school officials in public school districts throughout the United States, including in the public schools in Saline, Michigan, and in Loudoun County, Virginia.

These parents publicly object to their school districts promoting the Critical Race Theory ideology, which teaches students to be racists. They object to the divisive, harmful, and immoral transgender polices that are being implemented. And in Saline, Michigan, the parents object to the immoral and pornographic sex education program that the school board is attempting to force on children in the public schools.

One of the parents suing in this case is Xi Van Fleet. Ms. Van Fleet endured Mao’s Cultural Revolution before immigrating to the United States. Based on her experience, the Attorney General is using tactics similar to ones she saw Communist China use to stop parents from speaking out, so she is fighting back.

When she was in China, Ms. Van Fleet spent her entire school years in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, so she is very familiar with the communist tactics used to divide people, to cancel the Chinese traditional culture, and to destroy its heritage. Based on her observations, all of this is happening here in the United States, and the Attorney General is providing the enforcement mechanism to stifle opposition to it.

To stifle this opposition to the “progressive” polices of the Left, the Attorney General has vowed to use federal resources to investigate and prosecute, if necessary, parents whose speech might be considered “harassing” or “intimidating” to school officials, declaring these parents to be “domestic terrorists.”

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise commented:

“The government is without authority to criminalize First Amendment activity that might cause another to feel ‘harassed’ or ‘intimidated,’ even if that is what the speaker intended, absent a showing that the speech itself falls within one of the very narrow, recognized exceptions, such as making a ‘true threat or engaging in ‘fighting words’ or ‘incitement’—which is not happening here. First Amendment freedoms, such as those possessed by the objecting parents and private citizens, are protected not only against heavy-handed frontal attack, but also from being stifled by more subtle government interference. There is no question that the purpose and intended effect of the Attorney General’s recent pronouncement is to silence dissenting opinions, in violation of the First Amendment.”

While the Attorney General has set his sights on parents who object to “progressive” curricula and policies at local school board meetings, he is doing nothing to stop the actual criminal acts committed by Antifa and Black Lives Matter protestors because the Attorney General shares the political views of these left-wing organizations.

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi commented:

“AFLC is honored to represent these brave parents who are committed in their stand against the juggernaut that is the progressive movement seeking to dismantle the Constitution and the Republic. Conservative Americans are confronted today with a choice: resist or acquiesce. The Biden administration, the Obama administration before that, and the faceless bureaucrats in our nation’s capital who effectively annulled the Trump administration, are in this fight for keeps and seek a future in which free speech means ‘social justice’ speech and any and all opposition is criminalized ‘hate speech’ or ‘domestic terrorism.’ This is a battle for not just the heart and soul of this country, but its very existence. If speaking this truth can put you in jail, the future is here. AFLC stands strong and tall and will defend our Constitution at every turn.”

B. Federal judge throws out suit against Merrick Garland over memo mobilizing FBI against parents

The federal judge said the group of parents who filed the lawsuit lacked standing to challenge the attorney general’s controversial directive.
Featured Image

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland listens to a question during a press conference on June 13, 2022 in Washington, DC.Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — A federal judge last week dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of parents against U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland over his infamous memo mobilizing the FBI to help curb alleged “threats” posed by parents who objected to policies and curricula at school boards meetings.

On Friday, Trump-appointed District Judge Dabney Friedrich threw out the lawsuit, which had been brought against Garland last year by an association of parents in Michigan and Loudoun County, Virginia, The Epoch Times reported.

“Because the plaintiffs have not sufficiently alleged that they will suffer a reputational or other cognizable injury caused by the AG Policy, they lack standing to challenge the policy,” Friedrich wrote.

In their October 29, 2021 lawsuit, the plaintiffs sought to enjoin the attorney general from enforcing his policy allegedly targeting parents concerned about what their children were being taught in school.

According to the plaintiffs, Garland’s memo had smeared them as “domestic terrorists,” criminalized their speech, and unlawfully marshaled federal law enforcement resources to “silence parents and other private citizens.”

The lawsuit contended that conservative parents were being targeted by the Biden administration’s DOJ for speaking out against “the divisive, harmful, immoral, and racist policies of the ‘progressive’ Left that are being implemented by school boards and school officials in public school districts throughout the United States.”

RELATED: Worldwide parents coalition forms to resist pro-LGBT ‘grooming’ in the classroom

The complaint stemmed from the Biden Justice Department’s October 4 memo in which Garland sparked outrage by directing federal law enforcement to respond to an allegedly “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”

Garland announced in the memo he was directing the FBI to help local law enforcement agencies to “discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate.”

The directive came amid a nationwide wave of conservative parents showing up to school board meetings to express their disapproval of policies and curricula ranging from COVID-19 mask rules to Critical Race Theory and radical gender ideology.

Days before the attorney general’s memo, the National School Boards Association had (NSBA) had penned a letter to the DOJ characterizing the trend of parents airing their grievances at schools boards as “domestic terrorism,” warning that schools faced an “immediate threat,” and calling on the DOJ to exercise its authority under the post-9/11 PATRIOT Act meant to stop terrorist attacks.

Internal emails later indicated that the NSBA had collaborated with the DOJ and White House “for weeks” to draft the letter characterizing concerned parents as potential domestic terror threats, Fox News reported in November.

READ: White House, school board association worked in tandem on letter targeting ‘terrorist’ parents: report

On Friday, however, Judge Friedrich said the parents who filed suit against Garland lacked standing, because the attorney general did not direct the FBI to engage in direct enforcement action against the plaintiffs or anyone else.

“The alleged AG Policy is not regulatory, proscriptive, or compulsory in nature because it does not impose any regulations, requirements, or enforcement actions on individuals,” Friedrich wrote in her decision.

“None of the documents that the plaintiffs allege establish the policy create an imminent threat of future legal actions against anyone, much less the plaintiffs,” she continued.

According to Friedrich, the controversial memo had merely described a plan to “‘announce a series of measures’ in the future,” directing the FBI to convene localized meetings and open “dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response” without mandating “any particular regulatory or enforcement action.”

Garland has stated in sworn testimony that the DOJ was not adopting counterterrorism measures to combat alleged threats from parents at school board meetings.

“I do not believe that parents who testify, speak, argue with, complain about school boards and schools should be classified as domestic terrorists or any kind of criminalism,” Garland said last October, adding that he was only worried about “true threats of violence.”

However, Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mike Johnson of Louisiana told Garland in May that, according to FBI whistleblowers, the bureau had indeed opened investigations related to school boards, The Epoch Times pointed out.

“The information we have received shows how, as a direct result of your directive, federal law enforcement is using counterterrorism resources to investigate protected First Amendment activity,” the letter read.

In one instance, according to the letter, the FBI opened an investigation ”into a dad opposed to mask mandates.”

“The complaint came in through the National Threat Operations Center snitch-line and alleged that the dad ‘fit the profile of an insurrectionist’ because he ‘rails against the government,’ ‘believes all conspiracy theories,’ and ‘has a lot of guns and threatens to use them,’” the letter read.

The lawmakers added that after “an FBI agent interviewed the complainant, the complainant admitted they had ‘no specific information or observations of … any crimes or threats,’ but they contacted the FBI after learning the Justice Department had a website ‘to submit tips to the FBI in regards to any concerning behavior directed toward school boards.’”
C. Merrick Garland’s baseless lawsuit against Texas makes him a ‘ruthless, relentless political hack and thug’

by Kaylee McGhee White, Deputy Editor of Restoring America |
September 10, 2021 01:37 PM

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit in federal court this week to block Texas’s new pro-life law, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The suit is purely political, since the Supreme Court already held that the law cannot be struck down until it has been enforced, and Attorney General Merrick Garland is to blame.

Garland knows just as well as anyone that the Supreme Court’s ruling was, legally, the right one. The defendants who opposed Texas’s law did not have standing to sue because the law, which empowers private individuals rather than state officials to enforce the ban, had not been enforced against them. Until a plaintiff emerges to enforce the law, there is simply no case against it.

But the Biden administration, eager as ever to please abortion advocates, is trying to launch another legal effort against the law even though it will inevitably fail just as the first one did. The DOJ claimed in its suit that it has a federal interest because the Texas statute “conflicts with federal law by purporting to prohibit federal agencies from carrying out their responsibilities under federal law related to abortion services.” But this makes no sense. The federal government is not responsible for abortion services at all. In fact, it is explicitly banned from funding anything related to abortion by the Hyde Amendment. So, unless the federal government is now providing and/or funding abortive services, how is it affected by an abortion ban that does not involve a single government official?

Again, Garland knows better. He knows the Biden administration doesn’t have legal standing, and he knows the only way to overturn the Texas law is to wait until someone tries to enforce it so a defendant can then claim that it is unconstitutional. But he’s helping the Biden administration orchestrate this political stunt anyway.

If this had been the Trump administration and former Attorney General Bill Barr were still in charge of the DOJ, it’s easy to assume what the headlines would have been. He would have been called a “ruthless, relentless political hack and thug” and a “danger to democracy.” Indeed, he was called that and much more for doing far less than what Garland is trying to do right now. Apparently, DOJ politicking is only acceptable when it’s the right kind.

D. Garland Says Texas Abortion Law ‘Clearly Unconstitutional,’ Announces Lawsuit Against State

By Jon Jackson On 9/9/21 at 3:42 PM EDT

Merrick Garland
Greg Abbott

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a lawsuit Thursday against Texas, calling its recently passed abortion law “clearly unconstitutional.”

Garland revealed the Department of Justice was suing the state during an afternoon press conference. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Texas, and it urges a judge to declare that the law is invalid, “to enjoin its enforcement, and to protect the rights that Texas has violated.”

The restrictive abortion law, known as SB8, bans the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy and allows private citizens to take legal action against anyone who helps a woman terminate her pregnancy. The Texas legislation also doesn’t provide an exception for rape or incest.

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said rape victims can still get an abortion before a fetal heartbeat is detected and stated Texas will work to “eliminate all rapists.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that the Justice Department is suing Texas over its restrictive abortion law. In this photo, Garland is seen during a Department of Justice news conference in Washington, D.C., on August 5, 2021. Andrew Harnik, File/AP Photo

The lawsuit comes after the Supreme Court last week declined to block the controversial abortion law from taking effect in a 5-4 decision. After that ruling, President Joe Biden said the high court’s decision “insults the rule of law.”

Garland also responded to the Supreme Court’s decision by saying the Justice Department was “evaluating all options to protect the constitutional rights of women, including access to an abortion.”

In the past, laws that tried to restrict or stop abortions were struck down by the Supreme Court. However, SB8 is different due to it allowing lawsuits filed by private citizens to enforce the law, rather than state officials or law enforcement. Since this leaves no specific defendant for the court to make an injunction against, the law is harder to fight in court.

The law also prohibits plaintiffs from being ordered to pay defendants’ legal fees should a case be dismissed. Thus, people filing suits wouldn’t face financial burden while clinics defending themselves would.
Read more

Donald Trump Says Not Yet Sure Whether He Supports Texas Abortion Law
Greg Abbott’s Approval Plummets as 52 Percent Believe Texas on Wrong Track
Will Texas Women Be Able to Get an Abortion More Easily in Mexico?
Greg Abbott Defends Texas Abortion Law: No. 1 Goal Is to ‘Eliminate Rape’

Garland addressed this part of the law during the press conference at Justice Department headquarters. He said the provision would effectively empower “bounty hunters” to enforce the law since it also guarantees a minimum of $10,000 payment if a lawsuit succeeds.

The attorney general added that should the Texas law remain in place, it could become a model for other states, as well as for people who want to undermine other constitutional rights.

“This kind of scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States is one that all Americans, whatever their politics or party should fear,” Garland said.

Newsweek contacted Governor Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

E. Merrick Garland, the Most Corrupt Top Cop in US History

How much money do you think his daughter and son-in-law have made selling CRT curriculum to schools throughout the country?

John Rackmyer Mar 6, 2022

Loudon County VA will forever be the epicenter of the November 2021 red wave that swept across the country. That election cycle put the left on notice for what is to come this November.

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We all remember the news reels that showed angry parents protesting hateful CRT curriculum being taught in school districts across the country. Much of this CRT curriculum was allegedly supplied by Merrick Garland’s son-in-law. This blatant conflict of interest should have led to Merrick Garland stepping down as AG.

We saw pissed off mothers protesting draconian mask mandates on behalf of their children while photographs of political and cultural elites throughout the country rubbed elbows, at parties without masks on.

And then of course there is the Loudon County School District bombshell…the attempted coverup of a sexual assault by the district board, high school principal and superintendent. Yes, a coverup of the rape of a young girl in a school bathroom by a transgender (male) student. The coverup was an attempt to save the school districts woke, transgender policy, allowing transgender (males) into girl’s bathrooms. There are two kickers here. This first one is that the school board, principal and superintendent all knew the rape had occurred and instead of calling the authorities, they decided to transfer the student to another school, WHERE HE ASSAULTED ANOTHER GIRL! The second kicker is the sheer evil of this coordinated coverup!

Enter Scott Smith, the father of the young girl who was raped. In June 2021, Mr. Smith showed up at a school board meeting to confront board members on their attempted coverup. When he got up to speak, he was promptly attacked by the local sheriff’s department and booked on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest! Wouldn’t it make sense if there was an alleged rape, brought up at a school board meeting, that the sheriff’s deputies would question this as well? Instead, they wind up doing the dirty work for the elites by silencing dissent. This allowed the perpetrator to attack a second victim at another school and also allowed the coverup to continue.

Enter the National School Board Association and corrupt, US Attorney General Merrick Garland. All of the scenarios above prompted the NSBA to contact the Biden Administration and request the assistance of the DOJ, FBI, DHS and even the Secret Service! The NSBA letter and the DOJ response can be seen here. And what is the best way to get a local/state issue teleported to federal crime status? Call the protests domestic terrorism! Yes, label the protesting parents as terrorists in order to release the full force of federal law enforcement on dissenting parents and shut them up! First Amendment be DAMNED!

The NSBA has retracted their letter to the Biden Administration and apologized. This could be because it was the right thing to do but is more likely because many states started ending their NSBA membership due to the original NSBA letter. Merrick Garland and his federal thugs have not rescinded their response to the NSBA and continue their KGB style crackdown on those pesky terrorist parents who used to be protected by the 1st Amendment. Merrick Garland’s son-in-law, Xan Tanner and his company, Panorama Education continue to sell his indoctrinating, hate inducing CRT curriculum to school districts throughout the country unimpeded. To date, several Loudon County school board members have stepped down, however none of those involved in this criminal coverup have been arrested…yet.

F. DOJ Whistleblower Documents Suggest Merrick Garland Lied About The Targeting Of Parents As Domestic Terrorists

By: Tristan Justice
November 16, 2021
3 min read
Merrick Garland

New whistleblower documents suggest Attorney General Merrick Garland lied to lawmakers about the agency’s targeting of parents.

New whistleblower documents suggest Attorney General Merrick Garland lied to lawmakers last month when he denied that the Department of Justice was being weaponized to target concerned parents at school board meetings.

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in late October, Garland said the agency’s interest in parents was provoked by a letter from the National School Boards Association asking for federal law enforcement to use “domestic terrorism” laws to go after those who are concerned about what is taught in classrooms.

“The National School Board Association, which represents thousands of school boards and school board members, says that there are these kinds of threats,” Garland said, explaining the DOJ’s investigation of parents while denying that divisions dedicated to counterterrorism were being deployed.

Garland told lawmakers he could not “imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor … a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorists.”

“I do not think that parents getting angry at school boards for whatever reason constitute domestic terrorism,” Garland said. “It’s not even a close question.”

Records from an anonymous whistleblower released by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on Tuesday, however, reveal that the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division is engaged in categorizing threat assessments relating to parents with a “threat tag.”

An internal email attached to a letter from Jordan to the attorney general references an Oct. 4 memorandum from Garland for the FBI to address “investigations and assessments of threats specifically directed against school board administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,” with the tag.

“This disclosure provides specific evidence that federal law enforcement operationalized counterterrorism tools at the behest of a left-wing special interest group against concerned parents,” Jordan wrote. “We know from public reporting that the National School Boards Association coordinated with the White House prior to sending a letter dated September 29 to President Biden labeling parents as domestic terrorists and urging the Justice Department to use federal tools — including the Patriot Act — to target parents.”

The NSBA later apologized with “regret” for the letter days after Garland’s testimony.

“To be clear, the safety of school board members, other public school officials and educators, and students is our top priority, and there remains important work to be done on this issue,” the NSBA wrote. “However, there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.”

Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at

F. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks on FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

By Maureen Chowdhury, Elise Hammond, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

The attorney general filed a motion to unseal Mar-a-Lago search warrant. Here’s what to know.

Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers statements at the Department of Justice on August 11. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department has filed a motion requesting the search warrant and property receipt for former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property be unsealed. Trump and his legal team now have until Friday to respond.

The news comes days after the FBI executed the search warrant as part of an investigation into the handling of presidential documents, some classified. Garland’s remarks on Thursday follow days of silence from the Justice Department with regard to the search, as is the department’s normal practice for ongoing investigations. 

Some background on the investigation: The Justice Department inquiry is about documents that Trump removed from the White House as his term was ending in January 2021. Earlier this year, officials from the National Archives and Records Administration, known as NARA, recovered 15 boxes of presidential documents from Mar-a-Lago. Investigators subpoenaed NARA for access to the classified documents retrieved from the property in May 2022 and visited Trump’s attorneys in June when they asked them to secure the room where the documents were. The search on Monday was an escalation of the investigation.

Here’s what else you need to know:

About the warrant: Garland said the warrant for federal agents to search Trump’s house was authorized by a federal court on Aug. 5 “upon the required finding of probable cause.” He said copies of the warrant were given to Trump’s attorneys who were at Mar-a-Lago when the search happened on Aug. 8.

Garland’s decision: The attorney general said he “personally approved” the decision to seek a warrant for the FBI to search Mar-a-Lago. He said the department “does not take such a decision lightly.”

What could be in the unsealed documents: CNN’s legal analyst Elie Honig said the warrant typically will list logistical information: place to be searched, a general description of items to be searched for, the name of the judge, a deadline by which the DOJ has to execute the search. But it also sometimes has an attachment, which typically will list the laws that the DOJ has probable cause to believe were violated. The second document is the inventory or the receipt which describes the items that were removed.

Violent rhetoric: In his remarks, Garland also addressed “unfounded attacks on the Justice Department agents and prosecutors,” in the wake of the search in Florida and an attempted breach of the FBI’s field office in Cincinnati on Thursday. FBI Director Christopher Wray sent a message to employees, saying their “safety and security” are a “primary concern.”

What Trump’s attorneys are saying: In a pair of posts to Truth Social following Garland’s statement, Trump continued to claim that his attorneys were “cooperating fully” and had developed “very good relationships” with federal investigators prior to the search. A source says Trump and his legal team have not yet decided how to respond to the DOJ’s motion to unseal the warrant.

Trump team considering challenging DOJ’s motion to unseal search warrant, source says

From CNN’s Kaitlan Collins

Following the Justice Department’s filing to unseal the Mar-a-Lago search warrant, former President Donald Trump’s team has contacted outside attorneys about how to proceed. 

Among the options they are considering is challenging the Justice Department’s motion to unseal the warrant, a source familiar with the discussion says.  

Trump’s orbit was caught off guard by Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement. 

They have until 3 p.m. Friday to respond.

CNN and other news outlets ask court to unseal entire court record related to Mar-a-Lago search

From CNN’s Tierney Sneed

Police direct traffic outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday, August 8, in Palm Beach, Florida. (Terry Renna/AP)

CNN, joined by the Washington Post, NBC News and Scripps, asked a court on Thursday to unseal documents connected to the FBI search of former President Trump’s Florida residence this week – including documents not covered by the Justice Department’s own bid to unseal a selection of the warrant materials.

Specifically, CNN and the other outlets are asking for the US District Court in the Southern District of Florida to unseal the entire record filed with the court, including all probable cause affidavits filed in support of the search warrant.  

The request was filed after the Justice Department submitted its own request with the federal court to unseal certain warrant materials. In remarks announcing the request, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department is seeking the release of the “search warrant and property receipt” from the FBI’s search.  

But there are other documents that prosecutors file with federal courts when seeking search warrant, including affidavits from investigators laying out why they believe that there is probable cause that a crime was committed and that evidence of that crime existed in recent days at the site where the search was sought.

Garland said Thursday that he would not be “providing further details as to the basis of the search at this time.” The department also declined to comment on why it is not seeking to unseal the affidavits.

In the unsealing filing by CNN and the other outlets with the court, they pointed to “the historic importance of these events.”

Similar requests filed separately by the conservative group Judicial Watch, as well as the news outlets the Times Union and the New York Times, have prompted a magistrate judge to order that the Justice Department respond to the requests by 5 p.m. on Monday. That response can be filed secretly, the court said, but the department will also have to file a redacted version on the public docket. 

Trump, legal team have not yet reached a decision on how to respond to unsealing motion

From CNN’s Kaitlan Collins

Former President Trump and his legal team have not yet reached a decision on how to respond to the Justice Department’s motion to unseal the warrant used in the Mar-a-Lago search, a source familiar with their thinking tells CNN. 

The motion notes that the government favors unsealing it “absent objection from the former president.”

The federal court in Florida court must be told by 3 p.m. ET on Friday if Trump opposes the release.

Trump says attorneys were “cooperating fully” prior to FBI search

From CNN’s Gabby Orr

Former President Donald Trump gestures as he departs Trump Tower on Wednesday, August 10, in New York. (Julia Nikhinson/AP)

In a pair of posts to Truth Social following Attorney General Merrick Garland’s statement on Thursday, former President Donald Trump continued to claim that his attorneys were “cooperating fully” and had developed “very good relationships” with federal investigators prior to Monday’s search at his Florida property Mar-a-Lago. 

“The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it,” Trump said. “Everything was fine, better than most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even ‘safecrackers.'” 

The former President did not respond to Garland’s announcement that Justice Department officials had filed a motion to unseal the search warrant that granted FBI agents access to Mar-a-Lago on Monday and the receipt of items that were seized during the search. 

Garland’s comments come after days of silence by the DOJ

From CNN’s Tierney Sneed, Evan Perez, Hannah Rabinowitz and Zachary Cohen

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Justice Department on Thursday, August 11.

In his first public statement since federal agents searched former President Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago earlier this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday said that the Justice Department had filed in court a request that the search warrant and property receipt from the search be unsealed.

Garland also said he “personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter.”

He noted that the department did not comment on the search on the day that it occurred. He pointed out that the search was confirmed by Trump that evening. He said that copies of the warrant and the warrant receipt were provided to the Trump lawyers who were on site during the search.

“The Department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter,” Garland said.

The statement comes after days of silence from the Justice Department with regard to the search, as is the department’s normal practice for ongoing investigations. Garland stressed that some of the department’s work must happen outside of public view.

In filing with the court, the Justice Department said that Trump should have the chance to respond to its request to unseal the documents. Responses to the Justice Department’s request are due by August 25, according to the case’s docket.

Other Lawsuits Against Merrick Garland, AG