Tag: U.S. Attorney General

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to Join Board of NAACP Legal Defense Fund

(Image: iStock.com/Chip Somodevilla)
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (Image: iStock.com/Chip Somodevilla)

article by Hailey Wallace via blackenterprise.com

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund has announced that Eric Holder is set to join the organization’s National Board of Directors.

Appointed by President Obama in 2009, Holder was the first black attorney general of the United States. During his tenure under the Obama administration, Holder prioritized voting rights and criminal justice reform.

Holder’s connections to the Legal Defense Fund run deep. The former attorney general interned for the LDF in 1974 after his first year at Columbia Law. Last year, Holder received the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award, which the LDF calls its “highest honor.”

Current LDF President, Sherrilyn Ifillhas spoken highly of Holder. “I have been unequivocal in my admiration for Mr. Holder’s leadership. He presided over the restoration of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, launched the groundbreaking criminal justice reforms of President Obama, and confronted the challenges in Ferguson, Missouri, with tremendous sensitivity during a volatile time in our nation,” Ifill said.

In a statement announcing his appointment, the LDF praised Holder for his ‘Smart on Crime’ initiative, which called for “major changes to drug sentencing, the release of elderly prisoners and a decreased length of non-violent crime sentences, were bold measures that will continue to have a major impact on African American communities and are emblematic of LDF’s vision of justice.”

Loretta Lynch Wins Senate Panel Approval to be Attorney General

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the 83rd U.S. attorney general and the first African American woman to hold the post.

The vote was 12 to 8, with 3 Republicans voting in favor of Lynch, who is the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn.

Lynch’s nomination now goes to the Senate floor, where she seems assured of eventual approval. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has so far been noncommittal about when he will schedule the vote. Democrats have complained that Lynch’s nomination has been pending for more than three months.

Republican opponents of Lynch have mostly not criticized her, but have used the nomination as a proxy for their opposition to President Obama’s executive action that would shield from deportation several million immigrants in the country illegally.

Lynch has testified that the legal underpinning for that directive was “reasonable.”

The committee debate also featured a spirited disagreement about the constitutional role of senators in confirming nominees, one that did not stricly follow party lines.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the committee chair and a Lynch supporter, excoriated fellow Republicans in the House who said in a letter that voting for Lynch was a vote in favor of “lawlessness” on the part of President Obama.

“That is ridiculous on its face,” Hatch said angrily.

“The case against her nomination, as far as I can tell, essentially ignores her professional career and focuses solely on about six hours that she spent before this committee on Jan. 28,” Hatch said.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) joined Hatch in siding with all nine Democrats on the committee.

“To those who really believe this is a constitutional overreach of historic proportions, you have impeachment available to you,” Graham said, referring to the immigration controversy.

Noting the near-constant complaints among Republicans on the committee about the current attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., Graham said wryly that “Eric Holder’s ready to go, and I wish him well. He’s about to make a lot of money. Republicans are into that.”

Conservatives led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) say Lynch would not be independent of President Obama on immigration and other issues and would not depart from Holder’s policies.

Cruz, a potential candidate for president, said Lynch had refused to answer crucial questions in her confirmation hearing.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who has led opposition to Obama’s immigration plans, denounced Lynch.

“The Senate cannot confirm someone to this post who is going to support and advance a scheme that violates our Constitution and eviscerates congressional authority,” Sessions said. “Congress makes the laws, not the president—as every schoolchild knows.”

Lynch has twice been U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, the top federal prosecutor in a district that includes all of Long Island and most of New York City outside of Manhattan and the Bronx.

She has been a federal prosecutor much of her career and earned the endorsement of a number of top law enforcement officials and organizations. She has extensive experience in terrorism and public corruption cases.

Lynch also has international experience, volunteering over several years with the International Criminal Tribune for Rwanda training lawyers and conducting an investigation.

article by Timothy Phelps via latimes.com