Judge Merrick Garland made headlines in 2016 after Senate Republicans blocked his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court in the last year of Barack Obama’s second term. On Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden appointed Judge Garland as the next U.S. Attorney General.

Garland has largely been considered a centrist throughout his time in the courts. Experts believe that Garland’s appointment is the first step to depoliticize the Justice Department after accusations that the department has been increasingly used for Donald Trump’s personal gain under former Attorney General William Barr

Garland’s appointment, however, comes after extensive pressure on the incoming Biden administration to consider a woman or person of color for Attorney General. Garland, a white male and a centrist, is not expected to push for major social change, but rather to restore faith in a position and department which many believe has become deeply partisan.

With the Senate majority likely to switch to Democratic control, Biden will have much less trouble confirming Garland than Obama did five years ago.

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