Alabama Sen. Doug Jones is the leading candidate to be picked by President-elect Joe Biden for attorney general, according to reports.
NBC News is reporting Mr. Jones’ long standing relationship with Biden may work in his favor. Also under consideration are Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, who was infamously denied a seat on the Supreme Court in 2016. Biden is also looking closely at Sally Yates, the former deputy attorney general.
Mr. Jones will be leaving the Senate in January after losing his re-election in November. If he is selected, he would be the second Alabama senator nominated for attorney general in four years after President Donald Trump nominated Jeff Sessions.
“I’ve made a point of not commenting on any of the nomination process right now,” Jones told NBC News in a statement. “They’ve got a process that they go through, and hopefully they’ll wrap some of that up pretty soon. We’ll see how it goes.”
Mr. Jones has a strong track record on issues related to race and civil rights. Former President Bill Clinton appointed him to be U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama in 1997. Jones prosecuted two former Ku Klux Klansmen after a bombing in Birmingham killed our young African American girls.
Biden and Mr. Jones’ relationship goes way back to their law school days and then the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Biden was a member. The former Vice President and current President-elect campaigned for Jones in his 2017 Senate campaign.
“I promised Doug I’d campaign for him or against him, whichever will help the most,” Biden joked at one rally.
Biden has been facing pressure from civil rights groups to pick an African American for the attorney general role. Biden along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are expected to meet with civil rights groups again this week.