Earthjustice Senior VP of Programs Sam Sankar released this statement today on the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Merrick Garland as the nation’s new attorney general:
“We at Earthjustice are truly pleased that the Senate has confirmed Merrick Garland as our next Attorney General. Judge Garland’s distinguished tenure as a D.C. Circuit judge, his steadfast commitment to justice, and his profound respect for our federal laws show he’s an excellent choice to lead the Department of Justice.
“Judge Garland recognizes that the federal government has a unique responsibility to protect public health and the environment, as shown by his rulings protecting the rulemaking and enforcement authority of agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency. Those decisions also showcase his deep respect for science and the rule of law. These qualities will help Judge Garland lead the Justice Department to hold polluters accountable and defend science-based policy from industry attacks.
“We join our partners in the civil rights and human rights community in recognizing that Judge Garland will be a strong leader on social justice, voting rights, and the rule of law. During his hearing, Garland said addressing racial and social inequality would be key priorities as well as addressing extremist violence and white supremacy. At the top of his agenda would be prosecuting those responsible for the insurrection that threatened our democracy on January 6.
“Earthjustice will continue to go to court to hold the federal government and polluters accountable to our nation’s environmental laws. Whether we meet the Justice Department as a courtroom ally or adversary, we will be pleased to know that Judge Garland is at its helm. There is nobody better suited to restoring faith in government’s role to protect public health and the environment, to enforce civil rights, and to defend justice and equality under the law.”