Tags: Holder | Attorney General | RFK

Lanny Davis: Holder's Tenure Reminiscent of RFK

Image: Lanny Davis: Holder's Tenure Reminiscent of RFK
US Attorney General Eric Holder, left, and former U.S. Senator and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. (Michael Reynolds/EPA/Landov; Staff/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 09:44 AM

Eric Holder has been “one of the great attorneys general in this country’s history,” according to Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, writing in The Hill.

Holder, a controversial attorney general, tendered his resignation last week “capping a tumultuous six-year term marked by several high-profile clashes with Congress,” according to Fox News.

While Holder has been roundly criticized by Republicans for a variety of issues, including being found in contempt of Congress for failing to provide information in the Fast and Furious gun running investigation, the Justice Department’s handling of the IRS scandal in which conservative groups were targeted as well as the decision to prosecute terror cases in civilian courts, Davis maintains that Holder worked diligently to carry out the policies “consistent with the person who appointed him.”

Congressional allegations against Holder in the Fast and Furious scandal “have been proven factually wrong,” according to Davis, who writes that an independent inspector general found that Holder had no knowledge of the program until after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by one of the guns allowed to travel into Mexico. Holder ended the program once he learned of it, according to Davis.

Terrorists tried in U.S. criminal courts were convicted, vindicating Holder’s decision to go that route, according to Davis, who also maintained that Holder’s record on enforcement of civil rights is exemplary.

“The Justice Department is currently enforcing 12 agreements with law enforcement agencies for abusive police practices, including seven consent decrees — the largest number in the history of the department,” according to Davis.

Davis also noted that, under Holder’s tutelage, the Justice Department stopped a section of the Defense of Marriage Act barring the federal government from recognizing state-approved same-sex marriages.

He also “sought to enforce the Voting Rights Act against states where legislatures passed laws impeding or suppressing the right to vote for non-fact-based and apparently political reasons.”

Davis notes a speech Holder delivered earlier this year to a Human Rights Campaign audience where he said “the Justice Department’s role in confronting discrimination must be as aggressive today as it was in Robert Kennedy’s time. As attorney general, I will never let this department be simply a bystander during this important moment in history. We will act.”

“These words are reminiscent of the famous passage from RFK’s anti-apartheid speech in 1966 in Cape Town, South Africa, which eloquently described the impact of a single principled individual who stands up for justice: “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped,” according to Davis. “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

“Whatever one’s opinion of Holder’s policies, no one should doubt his deeply felt belief in Robert F. Kennedy’s words as an inspiration for his leadership as attorney general.”

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Eric Holder has been “one of the great attorneys general in this country’s history,” according to Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, writing in The Hill.
Holder, Attorney General, RFK
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2014-44-02
Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 09:44 AM
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