Holder's Critics Not Holding Back
President-elect Barack Obama will officially nominate Covington & Burling partner Eric H. Holder Jr. to be attorney general sometime after Thanksgiving, Politico.com reports. Obama is satisfied that the Senate will confirm Holder despite plans by Republicans to grill him about his role in President Clinton's last-minute pardon of international financier Marc Rich. (See our previous coverage.)
But even as Holder appears likely to become the nation's next attorney general, opposition to his appointment is being heard from an unlikely array of critics from the left and the right. Among those who oppose Holder's appointment:
- The right. The Republican Liberty Caucus says: "For years, Eric Holder has worked to degrade our civil liberties and weaken the Constitution and the values on which our nation was founded."
- The left. TalkLeft is not happy about Holder's efforts while U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., "to raise marijuana penalties and restore mandatory minimum penalties for drug crimes."
- The legalization lobby. NORML Blog expresses concern about Holder's "long history of opposing drug policy reforms, perceiving cannabis smoking by adults as a public nuisance worthy of constant harassment, promoting violent governmental intervention into the private lives of citizens who consume cannabis."
- Free speech advocates. The Legal Satyricon says Holder "has a censorship goon past." NewsBusters suggests Holder would "stifle free speech on the internet."
- Civil libertarians. The blog Wizbang Blue accuses Holder of "pandering to religious right organizations" on separation of church and state.
Even legendary trial lawyer Gerry Spence is not pleased. Calling him "Eric Holden," Spence says that when a lawyer works long enough for big corporations, as Holder did as partner at a corporate law firm, "the human psyche begins to dry up and one day will fall out on the carpet of the boardroom floor ... like a dried up old prune." Let us just hope that doesn't happen until after the confirmation hearings.
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 25, 2008 at 12:04 PM | Permalink
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