Conflict of interest for Merrick Garland, former Chief Judge of US Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit, to be Attorney General?

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The Politicus
Sep 20, 2021 05:42 AM 0 Answers
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I'm very progressive, even more than US Democratic Party. But isn't Merrick Garland too conflicted to be Attorney General, because he was former Chief Judge of US Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit. I hope someone else cottons on the conflict of interest that I'm feeling?

Because after his Chief Judgeship, Garland was nominated by and is serving under a Democratic President, Garland as Attorney General manifests that he's most probably Democratic. Then some people can regard his previous judgements with a Democratic slant. Or worse, they can tie his previous judgments with Democratic Party, and/or regard his previous judgments as judicial activism for the Democrats.

I can't remember who, but some law professor or famous judge warned appellate judges not to serve on executive branches after their judgeships. If you know the name, just edit this post. This post-judicial service worsens the politicization in the U.S. judiciary.

If Garland hadn't worked for any executive branch after his judgeship, then we may never know his political affiliation.
The party that nominated a Judge of the US Court of Appeals CAN DIFFER from the judge's preferred political party. I know judges to US Court of Appeals must be nominated by U.S. President. But just because Bill Clinton appointed Garland, doesn't prove Garland's Democratic.

Here are two examples. George H.W. Bush appointed David Souter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for First Circuit, then to SCOTUS. But Souter's politically progressive judgments make him more Democratic than Republican. Richard Nixon appointed John Paul Stevens to the US Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit, then Gerald Ford appointed Stevens to SCOTUS. Again, Stevens's political progressive judgments entitle you to argue that Stevens is Democratic.

I see no modern equivalent to Garland on List of U.S. Supreme Court justices who also served in the U.S. Congress and List of people who have served in all three branches of the United States federal government.

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  • September 20, 2021