The president has finally accepted Eric Holder’s resignation, effective upon confirmation of the next Attorney General.
Nov. 5, the day after election night, the White House will have a better sense of the Senate and the House for the next two years.
AG Holder suggested he would like to establish an institution for reconciliation between law enforcement communities and minority communities.
This may be another Obama administration off-the-cuff remark that carries the kernel of a good idea.
Eric Holder is the 82nd Attorney General. He has been AG longer than anyone else, other than three predecessors. He has had multiple opportunities to step on people’s toes.
Furthermore, he is the first Black Attorney General. He could have kept his head down, been quiet and still made history. But, he has not shied away from matters of race. He has shared his experiences as a Black person, and as a Black Man. He empathized with alleged victims of racism. He ruffled feathers.
Born winter 1951 in New York City, Holder went to Columbia Law School and was appointed to the Federal bench by President Reagan. He has been a Federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia, Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton administration, and senior legal adviser to Senator Barack Obama’s successful presidential campaign.
When he was appointed Attorney General in 2009, there was greater peace and harmony in Washington. The Republicans had not taken over the House of Representatives. Since 2010, divisiveness has ruled. AG Holder would probably confirm that he is partially responsible.
Darrell Issa (R-CA49), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, would agree. The Congressional representative brought proceedings that found the Attorney General failed to turn over certain documents, was in contempt, and imposed civil and criminal methods for remedying the contempt. This was the first time that a sitting Attorney General has been held in contempt by Congress.
In other words, Eric Holder has deep and personal understandings of what it means to sit with allies in the center of Foggy Bottom while opposition forces are circling and few people seem independent and willing enough to enter the swamp in-between.
Media personalities suggested Holder might succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Often, justices wait to resign until they are comfortable with the president and the Senate. Justice Ginsburg will know more about the Senate Nov. 5.
If Eric Holder opens an institution to heal the wounds of our division, and there is decathexis, the Senate would have an easier time consenting to his nomination to the Supreme Court.
Much will depend on what the Senate looks like Nov. 5.