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Biden was pilloried for his criminal justice record. During his presidency, advocates expect change.

As President-elect Joe Biden prepares his transition into the White House, he is facing mounting expectations to bring about sweeping change on criminal justice reform.

As the author of the 1994 crime bill, which was credited in part as ushering in a wave of mass incarceration of mostly Black men, and a vocal proponent of harsh policies during the “war on drugs” era, Biden has a long and often-criticized record on the issue.

He is also coming into power after his predecessor President Donald Trump signed into law one of the most significant changes to the federal criminal justice system in the 21st century. The First Step Act was the result of a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, civil rights groups, and grassroots activists. Experts said it was a monumental step forward after years of criminal justice reform and “tough on crime” policies being used as a political cudgel in Washington.

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President-elect Joe Biden delivers Thanksgiving address

With COVID-19 cases surging nationwide, Biden called on Americans to take precautions to try to stem the tide of the virus, by wearing masks and social distancing.

WILMINGTON, Del. — On a day of grace and grievance, President-elect Joe Biden summoned Americans on Wednesday to join in common purpose against the coronavirus pandemic and their political divisions while the man he will replace stoked the fading embers of his campaign to “turn the election over.”

Biden, in a Thanksgiving-eve address to the nation, put the surging pandemic front and center, pledging to tap the “vast powers” of the federal government and to “change the course of the disease” once in office. But for that to work, he said, Americans must step up for their own safety and that of their fellow citizens.

“This is the moment when we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts and recommit ourselves to

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Biden appeals for unity in Thanksgiving-eve address – U.S.


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WILMINGTON, Del. — On a day of grace and grievance, President-elect Joe Biden summoned Americans on Wednesday to join in common purpose against the coronavirus pandemic and their political divisions while the man he will replace stoked the fading embers of his campaign to “turn the election over.”


Biden, in a Thanksgiving-eve address to the nation, put the surging pandemic front and center, pledging to tap the “vast powers” of the federal government and to “change the course of the disease” once in office. But for that to work, he said, Americans must step up for their own safety and that of their fellow citizens.


“I know the country

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Merrick Garland is being considered for Attorney General in the Biden administration: report



Joe Biden, Merrick Garland are posing for a picture: Judge Merrick Garland, right, was nominated by President Barack Obama to the US Supreme Court in March 2016 after the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, but was subsequently blocked from hearings by Senate Republicans. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Judge Merrick Garland, right, was nominated by President Barack Obama to the US Supreme Court in March 2016 after the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, but was subsequently blocked from hearings by Senate Republicans. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Judge Merrick Garland is under serious consideration by President-elect Joe Biden to serve as Attorney General, according to a NPR report.
  • In 2016, Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by then-President Barack Obama, but he never received a hearing and the nomination by blocked by Senate Republicans.
  • Garland has served as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1997, and was its chief judge from February 2013 to February 2020.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Judge Merrick Garland, whose 2016 nomination to the US Supreme Court was blocked by Senate Republicans, is under serious consideration by President-elect

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Trump lawyer suggests Pennsylvania win for Biden could be tossed

A lawyer for President Donald Trump’s campaign on Wednesday revealed that the campaign could be relying on pulling off a complicated — and possibly unprecedented — legal and legislative trick shot to undo President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania and possibly in other states.

That far-fetched strategy would require a federal court to invalidate Pennsylvania’s certification of its election results, and then get the state’s General Assembly to agree to send Trump electors to the Electoral College.

The idea is buried in a footnote in a three-page letter that campaign attorney Marc Scaringi wrote to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

The Trump campaign is asking that appeals court to hear its bid to block the effect of Tuesday’s certification of a win for Biden in Pennsylvania.

That state has 20 votes in the Electoral College. Barring any court or legislative intervention, Biden will get those votes,

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Lawyer Katherine Tai a Congress favorite for Biden trade czar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As President-elect Joe Biden builds his economic team in the coming days, some influential lawmakers are urging him to choose Katherine Tai, the Democratic trade counsel on the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, as U.S. trade representative.

The job, sometimes called the “trade czar,” is expected to be a lynchpin position as Biden pledges to reverse predecessor Donald Trump’s “America First” policies, build jobs at home, and punish Beijing for anti-competitive trade practices.

Tai played a key role in negotiating stronger labor provisions with the Trump administration in the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal, and has solid backing in labor and business circles, people familiar with the Biden team’s deliberations say.

A Yale and Harvard-educated Chinese-American who speaks fluent Mandarin and taught university English for two years in Guangzhou, Tai also headed China trade enforcement at the U.S. Trade Representative’s

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Biden Considering Lisa Monaco, Sally Yates For Attorney General

(Bloomberg) — The Biden transition team is weighing attorney general contenders led by Lisa Monaco, who held key national security posts in the Obama administration, and Sally Yates, who gained fame when she was fired by President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

The choice of either would help President-elect Joe Biden achieve his goal of having women represented at the highest levels of his administration.

Other candidates under consideration include Alabama Senator Doug Jones, who lost his re-election bid this month, and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, one person said.

Monaco and Yates both had extensive careers inside the Justice Department and previously held positions that required Senate confirmation. But her history of tussling with the Trump White House might make Yates’s approval harder if the Senate is still controlled by Republicans.

Monaco declined to comment, while Yates and officials with Biden’s transition team didn’t

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Pennsylvania certifies Biden as winner of presidential vote

>> NORMALLY, WE THINK OF THE CERTIFICATION AS MORE OF A FORMALITY GIVEN THEIR ARE SOME ONGOING LAWSUITS IN PENNSYLVANIA I THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, CERTIFICATION IS CONFIRMATION THAT PENNSYLVANIA’S 20 ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTES WILL GO TO JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS. THERE IS STI SOME ONGOING LITIGATION THAT REMAINS, THIS CERTIFICATION IS ASSIGNED THAT PENNSYLVANIA IS GOING THE WAY THE VOTERS CHOSE. >> PENNSYLVANIA REPRESENTED THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC WILL OF ITS RESIDENTS TODAY. >> LATE LAST NIGHT, ALL 67 COUNTIES FINISHED INDIVIDUAL CERTIFICATIONS. THAT WAS PASSED ALONG TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE. AND THEN GOVERNOR TOM WOLF DID THE SAME. THEY HAVE CERTIFIED THE BULK OF THE VOTE BUT STILL NEED TO CERTIFY ADDITIONAL GROUPS OF BALLOTS BEING LITIGATED IN THE COURTS. >> OUR JOB IS TO CERTIFY THE LEGAL VOTES ARE CAST PROPERLY ARE GOING TO BE COUNTED. >> ON MONDAY AFTERNOON, THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA CERTIFIED THE … Read More

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Biden searches for attorney general to restore Justice Dept.’s independence, refocus on civil rights

After years seemingly at the center of every major political fight in Washington, the Justice Department is about to get new leadership, and President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for attorney general will have to balance competing demands within his party on thorny issues of civil rights, the environment and the department’s traditional independence from politicians.



a screen shot of Joe Biden in a suit and tie: President-elect Joe Biden announces national security nominees and appointees at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday.


© Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images
President-elect Joe Biden announces national security nominees and appointees at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday.

Most senior Democrats and former Justice Department officials agree a top contender for the position is Sally Q. Yates, the former deputy attorney general whose tenure stretched from 2015 to the early, tumultuous days of the Trump administration. Other names under consideration include Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), former homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson, former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and former White House adviser Lisa Monaco.

Behind the scenes,

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Biden certified as winner of Pennsylvania presidential vote

President-elect Joe Biden was certified Tuesday as the winner of the election in Pennsylvania, paving the way to a solid electoral college victory over President Trump.



a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: US President-elect Joe Biden


© CHANDAN KHANNA
US President-elect Joe Biden

US President-elect Joe Biden (CHANDAN KHANNA/)

After three weeks of vote counting and several ill-fated legal challenges, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Biden won the count by a fairly comfortable margin of about 80,000 votes.

“As required by federal law, I’ve signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Wolf wrote.

Nevada was also poised to certify a win for Biden as the state’s supreme court approved the results, clearing the way for the appointment by the governor of six electors for the Democrat.

Pennsylvania’s 20 electors, a mix of elected Democrats, party activists and other staunch Biden backers, will meet in the state Capitol on Dec.

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