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November 18, 2008

Lots of buzzing around Eric Holder as the next US Attorney General

In this afternoon post, Newsweek has reported today that "President-elect Obama has decided to tap Eric Holder as his attorney general."  But this BLT post has this bold update on the story:

The Associated Press and The New York Timesare reporting that Obama is deeply considering Holder for the AG post but that no decision has been made.  Apparently, Obama aides have been feeling out Republican senators to get a sense of Holder's chances.  An official in the Obama camp told the Times that the Newsweek report was "wrong."

Of course, regular readers know that there is a pardon story that surround Holder as a result of his service in the Clinton Administration.  Here is how the Newsweek report covered this notable ghost of pardons past:

The only hesitancy about Holder’s selection was that he himself had reservations about going through a confirmation process that was likely to revive questions about his role in signing off on the controversial pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.  Although there is no evidence that Holder actively pushed the pardon, he was criticized for not raising with the White House the strong objections that some Justice Department lawyers and federal prosecutors in New York had to pardoning somebody who had fled the country.  But after reviewing the evidence in the case, and checking with staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Obama aides and Holder both decided the issue was highly unlikely to prove an obstacle to his confirmation, one of the sources said --especially given the Democrats’ more sizable post-election majority in the Senate.

UPDATE:  Jeralyn at TalkLeft has a series of posts on Eric Holder's criminal justice record, including these recent ones of note:

Because I have never been much of a fan of what the Clinton Administration did on any number of federal criminal justice issues, I am not especially excited to learn that Obama's concept of hope and change for DOJ seems to involve the promotion of a former Clinton Administration high ranking DOJ official.  That said, a lot of people I respect have a lot of respect for Eric Holder, so I will come at this appointment with an open mind.  Still, I am growing ever more concerned that inside-the-beltway experience seems to be a running theme in all the cabinet picks being talked up these days.

November 18, 2008 at 05:04 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Ok ok ..... but where is Holder on habeas issues and (especially) capital cases?

Posted by: David Perry Davis, Esq | Nov 18, 2008 6:20:46 PM

I just have to say that I would find the appointment of Mr. Holder shocking and I don't say that lightly. I don't think a reprise of the Clinton administration was what people had in mind when they voted for change. There is nothing wrong with tapping that expertise, mind you, but there has to be some fresh faces that Obama can bring to Washington besides his own.

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 18, 2008 6:53:09 PM

I strongly agree with David Perry....also was the Marc Rich pardon the reason holder was removed from serving on the Obama campaigns VP search committee?? Does someone recall help me out please....Obama is sure loyal to local Chicago and obviously former Clinton talent because wasn't Holder in Chicago??? Lastly, Isn't Obama denying this suppossed leak??

Posted by: stephanie McLean observer and Illinois voter | Nov 18, 2008 7:29:34 PM

Like President-Elect Obama, Mr. Holder's position can best be described as "death hesitant."

Posted by: karl | Nov 18, 2008 9:43:46 PM

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