Holder steps down as Attorney General
Shelby DeHaven, Editor-In-Chief
October 1, 2014
On Thursday, Sept. 25, Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation from his position in the White House. Holder is resigning after six years working under President Obama. Holder told CNN’s Evan Perez prior to the official press conference announcing his resignation that he never intended to stay for the duration of Obama’s second term in office.
During his tenure as attorney general, Holder helped to bring down the crime rate and the incarceration rate by ten percent. He made an impression in recent news for his actions in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
After the police shooting of the African American teenager, Holder “ordered a broad federal civil rights probe of the city’s mostly white police department” according to CNN.
Holder’s legacy also includes the Supreme Court deciding on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, restrictive state laws over the ability of voters to cast ballots as well as changes in sentencing guidelines.
Not everyone is sad to see him go. Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina tweeted, “good riddance Eric Holder. Your disregard of the Constitution of the United States will not be missed,” says CNN. House Speaker John Boehner shared the same sentiments stating Holder’s resignation is “long overdue.”
The controversy with some Republicans comes from cases like the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Shelby v. Holder, which struck down a component of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the investigation over Operation Fast and Furious.
Operation Fast and Furious was a so-called gun-walking operation where roughly 2,000 guns were allowed into Mexico with the goal of tracking them to the Mexican drug cartels, according to CNN. Two of those guns were found at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s fatal shooting in December 2010. Then in June of 2012, the House voted to hold Holder in contempt of Congress when he refused to turn over documents linked to that operation.
It is not all hate for the attorney general. During his tenure, he received plenty of partisan support including the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said “I particularly appreciate how Attorney General Holder has restored the Civil Rights Division to its historical mission,” CNN reports. Rep. Marcia Fudge, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, echoed Leahy’s sentiments adding Holder’s departure “will leave a significant void in this administration and in our nation.”
Eric Holder was sworn in as the 82nd attorney general in February 2009 after serving as President Bill Clinton’s deputy attorney general. He was the first African American to serve in this position. He was one of the last three remaining members of President Obama’s original cabinet.