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Unfortunately, I was unable to land an interview with the Attorney General, surprise surprise. There is still plenty of information available to me, however, on the man running the Department of Justice. So, lets meet Attorney General Holder.
I could bore you with the background information, but it is all on Wikipedia. We will start with Holder’s appointment to Attorney General (AG). Holder was sworn in as the nation’s 82nd AG on February 3, 2009. Over the past several years, we have seen some interesting things from the nation’s top attorney.
At his confirmation hearing in the Senate, Holder assured the body and the American people that, “The Department of Justice will serve justice, not the fleeting interests of any political party.” At his official swearing in, Holder repeated the oath of office that reads, in part, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…” Now, I am going to examine some key elements of Holder’s tenure in DOJ and you can decide whether or not he meant these words.
Perhaps the greatest issue Holder has taken on is voting rights. He has actively criticized states that have enacted or are even considering voter ID laws. In May of 2012, more than 10 states were pushing to pass voter identification legislation. Responding to these states, Holder said that “for the first time in our [lifetimes], we are failing to live up to one of our most noble ideals.” He goes on to say that his Department would “aggressively” challenge each of these states. Now, certainly we should not restrict an American’s right to vote. However, being a nation that requires identification for operating vehicles, purchasing alcohol, attending R-rated movies, getting on an airplane, and purchasing a gun, it is simply absurd to suggest that one should not prove their identity with photo identification at the voting booth. There is so much more to say on this subject, but that will have to wait for another week.
We must also talk about the infamous Operation Fast and Furious. In this operation, the ATF, a law enforcement division within Holder’s Department, allowed weapons to be sold illegally to so-called “straw buyers” in hopes that the weapons would be used to eventually track down Mexican drug cartel leaders for arrest. Unfortunately, these same guns were used in the murder of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010. As Congress attempted to answer the questions behind this tragedy, Holder refused to give them the necessary documents for review. President Obama backed him up. On June 28, 2012, Holder became the first sitting member of a president’s Cabinet to be held in contempt of Congress.
This brings me to my next point. The US Code of Laws gives Congress the authority to hold any individual in contempt that “willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry.” After a vote of 255-67, the House of Representatives voted to hold the AG in contempt. President Obama also decided to push his weight around, invoking executive privilege. Executive privilege is a sneaky tool used by presidents to supposedly protect sensitive (or maybe potentially embarrassing?) information from the legislative and judicial branches and, as a result, the American people.
There is still much to say in regard to the Attorney General, but my word count for this week has expired. We will finish next week!