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Tag: Attorney General

Opinion: Loretta Lynch Is Experienced, Skilled & Ready to Lead Justice Department

By Democrat & Chronicle
Editorial Board
 
After the shellacking that President Obama took in last week’s midterm elections, the last thing he needs is another fight. That’s why he was wise to nominate Loretta Lynch as the nation’s next attorney general.

The Senate, which switches to Republican control starting in January, should have little difficulty confirming Lynch, who has a track record of being a top-notch federal prosecutor.

And because Lynch has been given Senate clearance twice in recent decades to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Brooklyn-based Eastern District, and was found to be apolitical for the most part, she should be confirmed before year’s end.

Otherwise, there could be a protracted confirmation process next year that, no doubt, could have much more to do with GOP disdain for retiring Attorney General Eric Holder than Lynch.

Obama, cognizant of how disliked Holder is among Republicans, chose in Lynch someone who, unlike his current attorney general, is not close to him. Rather, the Harvard Law School graduate’s record of accomplishment speaks volumes for her.

The highest profile case Lynch guided was the successful prosecution of New York police officers accused of beating and sodomizing a Haitian immigrant in the late 1990s. But her legal portfolio is wide-ranging, including major cases involving public corruption, terrorism, civil rights, financial fraud and cybercrime.

Some Republicans have expressed concerns about Lynch’s preparedness to leap from being a U.S. attorney to taking over as U.S. attorney general. Yes, it is a considerable jump in scope. But having served as a U.S. attorney both during the Clinton years and the past four under Obama has given Lynch solid executive experience that equips her for the top job.

To read more click here.

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Attorney General Holder Says Ferguson Police Department Needs ‘Wholesale Change’

Courtesy of DOJ

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called for “wholesale change” in the Ferguson Police Department, the Associated Press reports. 

Holder sad in a question-and-answer session with a newspaper at the Washington Ideas Forum that serious changes are needed.

“I think it’s pretty clear that the need for wholesale change in that department is appropriate.”

But Holder didn’t elaborate or discuss leadership changes at the department.

Holder defended his 2009 remarks that America is a “nation of cowards” when it comes to race, saying the country is “still reluctant to talk about issues of race.

Holder said he hopes his legacy involves improving the country.

“As a person who tried to make the country better and used the power of his office to raise issues that too often were not addressed,” Holder said.

Could Loretta Lynch Become First Black Woman to Become Attorney General? She’s a Top Candidate

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The leading candidate to replace Attorney General Eric Holder appears to be Loretta Lynch, the head prosecutor in Brooklyn, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The news comes after another top candidate withdrew her name.

Others being considered are General Donald Verrilli and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, according to the sources.

Lynch, 55, may not be as difficult to gain confirmation because Reuters says she has caused little controversy during her two tenures as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

If she’s confirmed, she would become the first black woman to head the Justice Department.

The White House declined to comment.

“We don’t have any personnel updates, and are certainly not going to speculate on any decisions before the president makes them,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

 

 

Top-Level Vacancies in Justice Department Are Significant Challenge, Opportunity for President Obama

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama is faced with a significant challenge and opportunity.

The top three jobs at the Justice Department will soon be vacant, and just four of Obama’s 11 choices for assistant attorney generals have been confirmed, CBS News reports.

The vacancies leave a power vacuum at an agency that has been very active in law enforcement issues.

“It’s always a challenge because the senior-level positions require Senate confirmation, and it can be difficult to move these nominees through a confirmation vote,” Thomas Dupree, who served as deputy assistant attorney general during the George W. Bush administration, told CBS News. At the same time, he said, “It’s an opportunity for [the president] to identify new people who will bring new energy and new ideas into the administration.”

The vacancies also offer a good opportunity for the administration “to look at the whole matrix” of skills and experience that fit the needs of the country, said Robert Raben, an assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration.

Assistant Attorney General John Carlin Shares Insight Into War On Terrorism

Justice Department Wants to End Profiling Based Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation

By Steve Neavling

tickethewire.com

The days of profiling may be over for federal law enforcement, according to a report obtained by the Washington Post.

The ban on profiling would apply to people based on their ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

One impact of the policy, for example, would be prohibiting surveillance of mosques without proof of wrongdoing.

No exemption will be given for national security investigations either, the Post reports.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said his upcoming retirement from the position won’t stop him from pursuing this.

“There remains a great deal to be done,” he said. “I have no intention of letting up or slowing down.”

Contentious Senate Hearings Expected When Obama Names Replacement for AG Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Whoever is going to succeed Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is likely to face a contentious Senate, the Washington Post reports.

Some Republicans even called for a delay because of the potential of midterm elections swinging in favor of the GOP in November.

“Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced,” Sen. Ted Cruz said.

Democrats urged Republicans to let Obama make his selection without the drama.

“This is going to be the first real test, whether it’s in the lame-duck or early in the new year, whether our Republican colleagues are going to continue to obstruct,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday in an interview. “Every president deserves to have his attorney general.”

Obama has yet to indicate when he will replace Holder.

From Good to Great: AG Eric Holder Championed for Civil Rights Like No One Before Him

By Jamelle Bouie
Slate

On Thursday the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner joined with the NAACP, the National Urban League, the National Action Network, the National Bar Association, and the Black Women’s Roundtable to call for a full federal investigation in the police killings of the two young men.

The Rev. Al Sharpton was part of the event, and he was about to take questions from those assembled when the news broke that Attorney General Eric Holder intended to resign from the administration. Naturally, Sharpton had a few words for the occasion.

“There is no attorney general who has shown a commitment to civil rights like Eric Holder,” said Sharpton, “If he is resigning, the civil rights community is losing the most effective civil rights attorney general in American history.”

That is high praise, but it’s hard to say it’s unreasonable or unjustified. When President Obama entered office, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department was in shambles, neglected by President Bush and staffed with a coterie of partisan operatives. Long-serving lawyers left the office, case files were closed with little explanation, political appointees sought to block liberals from career positions, and anti-discrimination efforts were few and far between.

At his confirmation hearing at the beginning of Obama’s term, Holder made the Civil Rights Division his priority.

To that end, Holder took aggressive steps to repair the damage of the previous administration and restore the traditional priorities of the Civil Rights Division. On voting rights, Holder was a strong advocate against voter identification laws, attacking the 2012 Texas law as a “political pretext to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right” and comparing some practices to Jim Crow laws. “Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them—and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them. We call those poll taxes,” he said.

To read more click here.

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