WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed Merrick Garland to be the next U.S. attorney general with a strong bipartisan vote, placing the widely-respected, veteran judge in the post as President Joe Biden has vowed to restore the Justice Department’s reputation for independence.

Democrats have praised Garland, a federal appeals court judge who was snubbed by Republicans for a seat on the Supreme Court in 2016 at the end of the Obama Administration, as a highly qualified and honorable jurist who is uniquely qualified to lead the department after a tumultuous four years under former President Donald Trump. Many Republicans praised him as well, saying he has the right record and temperament for the moment.

(Story written by MICHAEL BALSAMO and MARY CLARE JALONICK/AP)

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