Senator J.D. Vance, a stalwart Republican, has conceived an audacious strategy that might cause Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reconsider any plans for politically-motivated prosecutions. Senator Vance, not one to mince words, announced his intentions to impede President Joe Biden’s DOJ nominations in a video statement on Tuesday.
His message was clear: “I will hold all DoJ nominees,” effectively signaling a potential slowdown in the department’s operations. Senator Vance’s announcement came as former President Donald Trump was making an appearance at a federal courthouse arraignment hearing in Miami.
Rather than merely discussing the issue, Senator Vance proclaimed, “It’s time we stopped just whining about this problem and debating this problem and actually do something about it.” His words emphasized his desire for tangible action against perceived partisan actions by the DOJ.
His plan pivots on the assertion that the DOJ, under Merrick Garland’s leadership, is selectively enforcing the law to target political rivals rather than striving for impartiality. He suggested, “I think we have to grind this department to a halt until Merrick Garland promises to do his job and stop going after his political opponents.”
This daring strategy, however, doesn’t spell a complete freeze on DOJ confirmations. It simply makes the process more cumbersome. Confirmations would have to pass via floor votes instead of the usual unanimous consent if Senator Vance sees his plan through, according to sources.
Given the Democrats’ razor-thin Senate majority, absences could indeed threaten the confirmation of nominees. As a result, the DOJ might face a temporary shortage of new federal prosecutors.
However, Senator Vance isn’t planning a blanket blockade. He intends to make an exception for nominees of the U.S. Marshal’s Service, underscoring his measured approach.
The plan has already garnered support from other conservative figures. Notably, Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene expressed her endorsement of Senator Vance’s plan soon after its announcement.
This strategic move by Senator Vance underscores the ongoing clash over the role and actions of the DOJ, and it sets the stage for further scrutiny of the department’s conduct, reaffirming the need for impartiality and fairness in the application of justice.