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Mitch McConnell Presses Merrick Garland About Legal Philosophy On Vengeance

WASHINGTON—Refusing to back down from the line of questioning in hopes of getting a detailed answer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell repeatedly pressed attorney general nominee Merrick Garland Tuesday about his legal philosophy when it came to the issue of seething personal vengeance. “Now, Judge Garland, how would you feel, hypothetically speaking, about the Justice Department using its power to just absolutely wreck the life of someone who may or may not have brazenly wronged you on the public stage, say, oh, I don’t know, five or so years ago?” asked the seven-term Kentucky senator, who spent much of his allotted time at the confirmation hearing inquiring whether the circuit judge prefers to seek recompense immediately or follows the “dish best served cold” school of thought. “You’ve had a long, distinguished career, both as a prosecutor and on the bench, and I guess what I’m most interested to know is how long you think you might be capable of holding a grudge. Would you say your approach to the law has been more ‘eye for an eye’ or ‘live and let live’? And, in your view, do you think it would be appropriate for the attorney general—the nation’s chief law enforcement officer—to exact retribution for a slight that, in all fairness, was not at all personal in nature?” At press time, a visibly nervous McConnell had begun asking Garland about his stance on head starts.

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