Merrick B. Garland
Eighty-Sixth Attorney General 2021 - Present
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland was sworn in as the 86th Attorney General of the United States on March 11, 2021. As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Garland leads the Justice Department’s 115,000 employees, who work across the United States and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Under his leadership, the Department of Justice is dedicated to upholding the rule of law, keeping our country safe, and protecting the civil rights of all Americans.
Immediately preceding his confirmation as Attorney General, Attorney General Garland was a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was appointed to that position in 1997, served as Chief Judge of the Circuit from 2013-20, and served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 2017-20. In 2016, President Obama nominated him for the position of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Before becoming a federal judge, Attorney General Garland spent a substantial part of his professional life at the Department of Justice. He served in both career and non-career positions under five Attorneys General, including as Special Assistant to the Attorney General, Assistant United States Attorney, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division, and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General. In those roles, his responsibilities spanned the work of the Department, including criminal, civil, and national security matters. They also included direct supervision of investigations and prosecutions of national importance, including the Oklahoma City bombing, Unabomber, and Montana Freemen cases.
Earlier in his career, Attorney General Garland was a partner in the law firm of Arnold & Porter, where his practice involved civil and criminal litigation, antitrust, and administrative law. He also taught antitrust at Harvard Law School and published law review articles on both antitrust and administrative law.
Attorney General Garland graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., of the United States Supreme Court.