Friday, September 26, 2014

More on Holder Decision to Step Down and Some Thoughts on Who's Next

Now that AGOUS Eric Holder has decided to step down, there are many things to say about one of the longest and tumultuous tenured US Attorney Generals in History.
The negatives abound: Fast & Furious; Contempt of (and for) Congress; Authority for Killing American Citizens abroad; the foot dragging on the IRS scandal to name a few off the top of my head.

It is tougher to really point up his positives, but his decision not to defend the DOMA; his office's record on Civil Rights and Voting Rights although checkered (a rush to judgement in Ferguson and his failure to pursue the New Black Panthers voting suppression case) is a bright spot in a controversial career. I respect holder for what he didn't do: He turned away from the Stupid Pornography prosecutions of the Bush Administration, and he tried but failed to bring the terror trials to NYC. I firmly believe Guantanamo is and always has been wrong and frankly it lends a blot on our International reputation. Had Holder been successful, there would be no Guantanamo and most if not all the detainees there would be convicted and serving time. Of course his cover for Obama's dreamers is also something I support. In this Administration, finally his willingness to stop some of the more draconian Bush policies of using sentence enhancement arguments to force pleas and agreeing to substantial reductions in drug sentencing laws are real accomplishments.   in this time in our History, I doubt sincerely one could have done a better job. That is not a glowing endorsement of Mr. Holder, more than an acknowledgment that it could have been much worse.

As for a replacement that could get through Congress, Soliciter General Vermincelli would be my choice. He is bright, hard working, and while occasionally awkward, could bring a different less political bent to the office potentially healing some wounds with Congress. An Italian American AG would be nice too. Deval Patrick would make for a good choice in that he too could work with some of the key players in D.C. And possibly mend a fence or two also. Both would likely follow Obama's agenda which while for me that isn't a positive, he did win the election he is entitled to his cabinet. Better to have somebody who could work with the Capital building than be hated in it.

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