Rev. Al Sharpton Critiques Joe Biden’s Nominations, Georgia Election

Michael Regan

Getty President-elect Joe Biden arrives at the Queen Theater for a virtual appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on December 17, 2020. Biden is expected to nominate Michael Regan of North Carolina to be administrator the Environmental Protection Agency.

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland to serve as attorney general, the nation’s chief law enforcement officer according to reports.

Additionally, Biden also is expected to appoint Lisa Monaco to serve as deputy attorney general, Kristen Clarke to lead Justice’s Civil Rights Division and Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general.

National Action Network founder, civil rights activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton weighed in on Biden’s decision.

“I would have still preferred a Black Attorney General nominee or someone with a clear record on voting rights and police reform,” Sharpton shared with me in a statement via e-mail.

“Particularly at this day and time. I’m unclear on Judge Garland’s record on both and there are very few, if any, written arguments that he has as a Judge to track these positions. I therefore think that he should immediately meet with the civil rights leadership that has met with President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris to discuss things like enforcement of voting rights and police accountability as well as pending legislation with both. Despite these reservations, the fact that President-elect Biden has nominated Judge Garland is a clear message to Republicans who stalled and stopped Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court by President Obama that he will take firm stands against them. This is a thumb in the eye to Mitch McConnell, the former Majority Leader of the Senate, as the Jon Ossoff vote becomes clear that McConnell has lost the majority of the Senate. I am nonetheless excited about the nomination of Vanita Gupta as Associate Attorney General and Kristen Clarke to head up the Civil Rights Division. The potential of them in the Justice Department gives me some cause to feel that this Justice Department will at least be a radical change from the four years of anti-civil rights, anti-voting-rights and anti-police reform of the outgoing administration.”

In addition to Biden’s appointments, Sharpton was also vocal about the state of Georgia’s runoff elections yesterday which saw record turnouts for a runoff election and a potenital win for Jon Osoff and a confirmed win for Rev. Raphael Warnock.

If Osoff, 33, wins, he will be the first Jewish senator elected to a southern state since the 1880s and the youngest Democrat elected to the Senate since Biden nearly five decades ago.

Rev. Warnock has won and will become the first Senator of Georgia. “Georgia electing its first Black Senator-elect and first Jewish American Senator-elect in our time is a sign of a new America,” Sharpton said via e-mail.

“We are bringing America back to where we ought to be and moving forward towards change.”

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