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December 15, 2008

Headaches on the path to Holder's AG confirmation

The Legal Times has this interesting new piece headlined, "GOP Signals Rough Path to AG Position for Holder." Here is a snippet:

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama questioned Holder's fitness to be attorney general.  Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said he wanted to delve into Holder's career in private practice.  Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma threatened to prevent a vote.

Republicans have also asked the Justice Department to hand over reams of documents from Holder's time as U.S. Attorney and deputy attorney general, touching on subjects as seemingly arcane as his involvement in the Clinton administration's decision to allow an American aerospace company to export a communications satellite to the Chinese....

The Republicans are searching for Holder's fingerprints on a variety of controversial policies and scandals in the 1990s, including President Bill Clinton's impeachment proceedings; the Justice Department's investigation into the siege in Waco, Texas; and the Miami raid involving Elian Gonzalez.  They're also exploring Holder's involvement in Justice Department investigations into Clinton-era fundraising and the administration's decision to allow Loral Space to export a communications satellite to China to be launched on a Chinese-built rocket.

The letter [to DOJ] also requests materials related to a memorandum Holder drafted dealing with attorney-client privilege waivers in corporate investigations, a hot-button issue that was revisited this year by Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip.  And the letter asks for materials that would highlight Holder's positions on gun control, the death penalty, and Miranda warnings -- issues certain to rally the conservative base.

I would be surprised if all this Holder push-back will significantly impede his path to becoming our next Attorney General.  But it should at least ensure that his confirmation hearings are interesting (and blog-worthy).

Some prior posts on the Obama transition, the Holder pick and federal criminal justice issues:

December 15, 2008 at 08:35 AM | Permalink


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