President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Justice (DOJ), now-Attorney General Merrick Garland, was blocked by Senate Republicans from ascending to the U.S. Supreme Court back in 2016 when he was nominated by then-President Barack Obama.
In hindsight, that move by the Senate GOP has proven to be a wise one, at least in the eyes of Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton. In a contentious back-and-forth at a Senate Judiciary panel hearing Wednesday, the Republican lawmaker excoriated Garland and urged him to “resign in disgrace,” The Hill reported.
“Thank God, you’re not on the Supreme Court,” Cotton told the attorney general, according to The Hill. “You should resign in disgrace, judge.”
Garland sics FBI on parents
Among other things, Cotton keyed in Wednesday on a “chilling” memo issued by Garland in early October announcing that the FBI and DOJ would consider prosecuting angry parents who have been vocal in their opinions on how their children should be educated at recent school board meetings across the country.
Garland’s memo came in response to a disturbing letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) — which has since been walked back — that alleged “threats of violence” and labeled opinionated parents as perpetrators of “domestic terrorism.”
According to the Daily Caller, Cotton referenced on Wednesday a recent incident in Loudoun County, Virginia, where a father named Scott Smith was arrested and criminally charged for disrupting a school board meeting after claiming the district had covered up the sexual assault of his daughter in a school bathroom.
“She was raped, in a bathroom by a boy wearing girl’s clothes, and the Loudoun County school board covered it up because it would have interfered with their transgender policy during pride month,” Cotton said, according to the Daily Caller.
“Because he went to a school board and tried to defend his daughter’s rights, [Smith] was condemned internationally,” Cotton added. “Do you apologize to Scott Smith and his 15-year-old daughter, judge?”
“Your performance is shameful”
Garland had no real response — and certainly not an apology — other than to condemn the “horrific” crime.
Cotton, for his part, was less than impressed.
“This testimony, your directive, your performance is shameful,” the senator concluded. Take a look:
Merrick Garland’s performance as Attorney General has been shameful. He should resign in disgrace. pic.twitter.com/oyRg9Sc2NV
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) October 27, 2021