Government & Politics

Having Severely Politicized 'Justice,' Holder Heads for the Exit

Sep. 26, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation this week, ending what Barack Obama called “a pretty good run.” Holder plans to leave his post as soon as a replacement is confirmed. He will leave behind a department far more focused on politics than justice.

The embattled AG had reportedly expressed an increasing desire to leave, and plans for stepping down were finalized with Obama over the Labor Day holiday. The White House no doubt wishes to nominate Holder’s successor quickly, considering the unpredictability of the midterm Senate races. If Republicans should gain control of the chamber, Obama will have only until the end of this year to squeeze in a nominee that suits his activist ways – with just 51 votes, by the way, after Harry Reid took the nuclear option. The timing of Holder’s announcement may be a signal that the White House views a GOP win as probable.

Another factor in Holder’s resignation may be a court ruling ordering the Justice Department to release numerous Fast and Furious documents without delay. U.S. District Court Judge John Bates denied a request from the Justice Department to delay the release of the so-called Vaughn index, a list of documents detailing elements of Operation Fast and Furious the Obama administration claimed in 2012 were protected from the public by executive privilege. Holder was held in contempt of Congress that year for obstructing the investigation, the only time an AG was ever slapped with such an action. It was the second court ruling against Holder’s stalling, and the department has until Oct. 22 to release the documents.

Fast and Furious was far from Holder’s only questionable action during his tenure. From his earliest days, the self-proclaimed racial-justice activist took joy in becoming a political lightning rod for the administration. One of his first actions in office was to arbitrarily dismiss an ironclad case against the New Black Panther Party, who were caught on video intimidating white Philadelphia voters on Election Day 2008. Holder then had the gall to dub America “a nation of cowards” regarding issues of race. And one of his last actions as AG was to open an investigation into alleged racism in Ferguson, Missouri.

On national security, he attempted to try 9/11 plotters in civilian courts in downtown New York City, blocks away from the World Trade Center. Thankfully, however, New Yorkers, lawmakers and victims' families rallied to put an end to that farce.

Holder was a political strongman for his boss. He sued states over voter ID laws, which he claimed threatened the voting rights of minorities. In reality, his suits were designed to protect Democrat majorities. He consistently worked to defeat voter identification, prevention of illegal immigrant voting and other efforts at fair and honest elections.

His cultural impact will long be felt, too. He supported the introduction of same-sex marriage into states by judicial fiat, even in cases where state voters had clearly defeated such redefinition. He refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. He sued Louisiana to prevent school choice through vouchers. And he swept under the rug any real effort to investigate the IRS over political targeting. Those are but a few examples of the many ways he politicized the job and the department.

Holder may want to be remembered for his work on civil rights, but what he and his race-baiting supporters don’t seem to realize is that his utter disrespect for Rule of Law has pushed back the cause of civil rights for all Americans. His true legacy is that he trumpeted the actions of the state over its citizens virtually every step of the way, often for the cause of racial retribution.

As for who will replace him, names include Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a close Obama friend, former Arizona governor and Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano, former Obama adviser and litigator Kathryn Ruemmler, and Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.

Just how will Obama decide? Have no fear. Race hustler Al Sharpton told reporters his National Action Network has been “engaged in immediate conversations” with the White House to help determine Holder’s successor. Sharpton, who praised Holder as the best AG ever on civil rights, said he hopes Holder’s successor will follow in his footsteps. The White House refused to comment on whether Sharpton was actually involved in the decision making process, and Sharpton later clarified, “[W]e are in a conversation to reach out to [the White House] to have meetings about what we want them to see in a successor.”

For his part, Holder said, “It is the honor of my professional life to serve the American people as attorney general. I hope I’ve done a good job. I’ve certainly tried to do as good a job as I can.” The only “good job” he did was to sully the office with dirty politics while trampling the Constitution.

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