If confirmed, Holder would be the first African-American to lead the Justice Department.
Holder, 57, is a graduate of Columbia University Law School and a former federal prosecutor, he is currently a partner at the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling. Holder first joined the Justice Department in the administration of President Jimmy Carter, assigned to the newly formed Public Integrity Section in 1976 straight out of Columbia University Law School. President Ronald Reagan nominated him to be an associate judge at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where he served for five years. He left that post to become the first African-American U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, chosen by President Bill Clinton. He served in that position until Clinton picked him to become deputy attorney general, the first African American to hold that position as well. He co-chaired President-elect Obama's vice presidential selection process.
This pick by Obama does not come with some "Clinton baggage." Commodities trader Marc Rich fled to Switzerland in 1983 while being prosecuted on tax evasion charges and allegations of illegal oil dealings with Iran. Holder advised President Clinton to issue a pardon for commodities trader Marc Rich just before he left office in 2001. Critics contended that Clinton issued the pardon because Rich's former wife had made substantial donations to the Democratic Party and Clinton's library.
Holder testified later before a Republican-controlled Congress and acknowledged if he had it to do over again, he would have handled it differently. A Democratic source has said he was confident a flap over Clinton's pardon of Rich would not be a major hurdle for Holder with a Democratic Congress.
Read the AJC.com article about Obama's Attorney General choice.
Read the New York Times article about Obama's Attorney General choice.
Read the CNN.com article about Eric Holder, Attorney General nominee.
Read the CNN.com article about John McCain's attack on Eric Holder when Holder was Obama's VP vetter.
plez sez: BARACK OBAMA keeps stepping up and keeps knocking 'em outta the park.
at first blush, the Holder nomination comes off as another in a growing list of clinton administration re-treads (read: hillary as secretary of state). but as one looks alittle deeper into the choice, you see a solid choice of a knowledgeable washington insider who'll be able to affect the change that Obama campaigned on. holder will have his job cut out for him to undo much of what the bush administration has put into effect (i.e. restoration of many of our civil liberties that were snatched away after 9/11 AND redirect justice department efforts to more effective community policing with more cops in the nation's neighborhoods).
to my way of thinking, holder being the first Black attorney general is of little consequence... after the OBAMA presidency. it is my hope that in a few years, Black "firsts" will become passe' OR a thing of the past (been there, done that!).