The Senate confirmed civil rights lawyer Vanita Gupta to be the Associate Attorney General Wednesday.
Gupta, who will be the third-ranking official at the Department of Justice, was confirmed 51-49, with Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski joining all 50 Democrats voting in favor.
“I have looked at her record, I have had an extensive sit down with her,” Murkowski said before the vote. “I am impressed with her credentials … and the passion that she carries with her with the work that she performs.”
Murkowski acknowledged Gupta’s confirmation was contentious, but said her passion was “impactful.”
The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Judge Merrick Garland as President Biden’s attorney general.
Garland was confirmed in a 70-30 vote in the evenly-divided Senate, making him the leader of the Justice Department and the country’s top law enforcement officer.
Joe Biden will nominate federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to serve as attorney general, according to Politico.
Biden’s decision comes after Democrats appear in striking distance of taking control of the Senate following runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday. Raphael Warnock is projected to defeat Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler. Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is currently leading David Perdue, a Republican incumbent who holds the other seat in Georgia.
Joe Biden has added New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s name to his short list of candidates to serve as attorney general, according to reports.
Biden is considering three other potential nominees to lead the Department of Justice: Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland.
The U.S. Supreme Court said this week it will not hear Tennessee’s challenge of the federal refugee resettlement program, which claimed it violated the 10th Amendment.
Tennessee’s Republican-led government had asked for the review, The Associated Press reported. The court filed its denial earlier, letting a lower court ruling stand.