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January 21, 2009

Republicans force delay of confirmation of Eric Holder to be Attorney General

CNN has this new report on the political wrangling that surrounds the now-delayed confirmation of Eric Holder as the next Attorney General:

The initial confirmation vote for Eric Holder, President Barack Obama's pick for attorney general, was postponed for a week Wednesday after a rancorous meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Republicans, who want to question Holder about his role in a controversial presidential pardon when he worked in the Clinton administration, used a procedure that allows them to put off the vote. Senate rules allow for a one-week delay if a panel member requests it.  In this case, all the Republicans wanted the delay, according to their ranking member.

A clearly agitated Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat and chairman of the committee, slammed his gavel and walked out after acknowledging that Republicans had the right to ask for the delay.... 

The balking Republican lawmakers indicated that they want additional answers from Holder, who appeared before the panel Thursday. That prompted a strong reaction from Leahy. "It would look like a horrible double standard for those who enthusiastically voted unanimously for Alberto Gonzales to turn down the first African-American or hold up the first African-American to be attorney general," he said....

Meanwhile, acting Attorney General Mark Filip, who served as deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush, has taken the reins at the Justice Department pending Holder's confirmation. Filip and a cadre of career lawyers kept a low profile as they ran the wide-ranging functions of the dozens of Justice Department divisions and offices Wednesday.

January 21, 2009 at 03:46 PM | Permalink


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Ah, Patrick Leahy playing the race card. Gotta love it.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 21, 2009 4:11:39 PM

Federalist. That was my reaction too. When I read those comments I just shook my head in disbelief.

You would think that with Obama being president we could at least move beyond this just a little bit. But seriously, the race card, just wow.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 21, 2009 4:45:35 PM

O.K., Federalist, for the first time in my long history of reading this great blog, I agree with you. Completely. What an idiotic thing for Leahy to say.

Posted by: AFPD | Jan 21, 2009 5:20:43 PM

Ha. I'm actually agreed, too (also for what I truly hope to be the only time). And to wear "enthusiastically vot[ing] unanimously for Alberto Gonzales" as a badge of honor? Pathetic and shameful.

Posted by: DK | Jan 21, 2009 8:55:34 PM

At the time of his ascension to AG, Gonzales was not ethically challenged like Holder. Gonzales was in over his head, and that was obvious from the hearing. If you can't make a windbag like Biden look like a fool . . . .

Posted by: federalist | Jan 22, 2009 9:36:56 AM

Gonzales has always been ethically challenged.

Posted by: DK | Jan 22, 2009 9:23:35 PM

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