« "Does Immigration Enforcement Reduce Crime? Evidence from 'Secure Communities'" | Main | Louisiana legislative commission looking closely at capital case costs »

September 25, 2014

Eric Holder resigning Attorney General position ... next up?

As this Politico article reports, "Attorney General Eric Holder will announce Thursday his plans to leave his post at the Justice Department once a successor is confirmed." Here is more about this breaking news:

Holder has been in the job for nearly six years, since the start of the Obama administration, and would be the third longest-serving attorney general if he is still in the position in December.

President Barack Obama will announce the personnel change at the White House at 4:30 p.m. Officials have not yet said whether the president will announce a nominee for the job at that time.

Obama and Holder developed a close working and personal relationship over the course of the administration, putting the attorney general on stronger footing as he faced a wide range of criticism from Congress and the public, and as even some of the president’s aides privately urged for a change in leadership at the Justice Department. Holder also is close with Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Holder’s departure has long been speculated, and he has discussed his plans with the president “on multiple occasions in recent months,” a Justice Department official said. He finalized his plans in an hourlong conversation at the White House residence over Labor Day weekend, potentially giving the White House close to a month to decide on a nominee for the position.

One much talked-about contender, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, is scheduled to travel to Washington on Thursday for pre-planned Friday events with the Congressional Black Caucus, his office said.... Two others believed to be on the short list for the job are Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

This USA Today article, headlined "After Eric Holder: Potential attorney general choices," provides this longer list of potential AG nominees in addition to Governor Patrick:

Janet Napolitano: The former Homeland Security secretary and governor was Arizona's attorney general from 1999 to 2002. She currently serves as president of the University of California system.

Kathryn Ruemmler: She departed as White House counsel last year. Obama told the New York Times that he deeply valued Ruemmler for "her smarts, her judgment and her wit." She worked for the White House since the start of Obama's tenure, starting as principal associate deputy attorney general — the third-ranking position at the Justice Department.

Robert Mueller: The respected lawyer and specialist in white-collar crime became FBI director a week before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mueller went on to serve both George W. Bush and Obama. Currently in private law practice, Mueller was recently tapped to lead the NFL's investigation into the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.

Kamala Harris: The attorney general of California is often touted as as a potential candidate for governor or U.S. Senate. She was the first woman elected as district attorney in San Francisco and first elected to her current position in 2010.

I have no insider knowledge and no real sense of who might be especially good at a job likely to be especially difficult over the next few years. But I think I am pulling for Kamala Harris (because I would like to see a woman of color in this job) and Preet Bharara (because I was a summer associate with him at a big NY firm more than two decades ago).

September 25, 2014 at 12:25 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Eric Holder resigning Attorney General position ... next up?:


Kamala Harris sounds like a good bet.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 25, 2014 1:24:02 PM

So, what happens to Holder's efforts to reshape the use of sentencing discretion and the policy actions of the Justice Department in the sentencing area?

Posted by: ohwilleke | Sep 25, 2014 2:31:19 PM

I saw a story suggesting SG Verrilli.

Posted by: Scott | Sep 25, 2014 4:17:33 PM

Kamala Harris would be a horrible choice. She did not, and does not, know Brady material if it hit her in the face. See the problems with the San Francisco Police Department laboratory (stolen drugs, DNA switches, etc.) when she was District Attorney of San Francisco.

Posted by: BK | Sep 25, 2014 4:52:11 PM

I would be astounded if Kamala Harris took the job even if offered. It simply makes no sense for her politically--to be an AG for a lame duck president who is gone in two years? What does she have to gain? No, at this stage it will be either someone whose political future is over (like Patrick) or someone who has no political ambitions (like the SG). But no "up and comer" would want the job.

Posted by: Daniel | Sep 25, 2014 5:04:53 PM

The lawyer dumbass, whoever it is, will go after productive people, to plunder their assets, and allow terrorists, gangbangers, and rampage murderers to do as they please without the slightest fear of being inconvenienced, with full lawyer protection from public self help.

We had a lying, horrid black racist. I guess we are overdue for a lying, horrid, black racist feminist.

I hope Obama appoints Harris. I relish his getting his ass whooped by Michelle Obama, using her full tennis swing.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 26, 2014 4:25:52 AM

Kamala Harris has said she doesn't want the job.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 26, 2014 10:53:50 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB