President-elect Joe Biden has selected Garland, 68, as his top pick for attorney general, Politico reported Wednesday, citing "two people with knowledge of the decision."
Prior to the alleged decision, Biden was reportedly considering Garland, ex-Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) and Obama-era Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, a Democrat, to head of the US Department of Justice.
The US president-elect is expected to announce Garland's nomination on January 7, the day after US Vice President Mike Pence and bipartisan representatives from both legislative chambers are scheduled to perform an official, out-loud count of the Electoral College votes from the November 2020 presidential election.
Attorney Kristen Clarke, president of Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, has reportedly been selected to run the Civil Rights Division of the US DoJ.
Although Biden received 306 Electoral College votes - well above the 270 needed to secure a victory over US President Donald Trump - the sitting US president and more than a dozen GOP lawmakers have maintained the results from the election were the product of widespread voter fraud.
Garland's anticipated attorney general nomination will likely reignite conversations on the Republican Party's refusal to acknowledge his 2016 SCOTUS nomination - despite the passing of SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia, the Associated Press reported.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) led the opposition to Garland's hearing, arguing that 45 - not Obama - should select the next SCOTUS justice.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” he said hours after Scalia's passing.
“We are setting a precedent here today, Republicans are, that in the last year at least of a lame duck eight-year term — I would say it’s going to be a four-year term — that you’re not going to fill a vacancy of the Supreme Court based on what we’re doing here today,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) proclaimed during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting in 2016.
The political impasse ultimately resulted in Trump choosing Neil Gorsuch to take over Scalia's SCOTUS seat. Furthermore, the so-called precedent established in 2016 proved to be short-lived after Trump handed Judge Amy Coney Barrett a SCOTUS nomination in September 2020.
Three Trump SCOTUS nominees have been confirmed by the Senate, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority on the court.