Report: Eric Holder Has No Plans to Resign This Year
Sunday, February 16, 2014 08:07 AM
By: Elliot Jager
Attorney General Eric Holder has made no plans to leave the Justice Department during 2014, The Hill reported.
In a lengthy interview he gave the New Yorker last year — published this week — the magazine identified voting rights as the top priority of Holder's tenure and quoted him as saying he'd remain in office "well into 2014."
This led some conservatives to intuit he would step down this year. A Justice Department spokesman said Holder did not mean to imply that at all, according to The Hill.
In a Georgetown University speech last week, Holder reiterated his agenda.
He is working to lift state restrictions that bar felons from voting. Holder said that some 2.2 million blacks are barred from voting because they have felony convictions. On this issue, he is on the same side as Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul.
Holder also wants to find a way around state laws that require voters to present photo ID cards. In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld a federal appeals court ruling that said providing such proof of identity was not too much to ask of citizens.
The Justice Department is pursuing two cases — in Texas and North Carolina — arguing against voter ID's, as well as laws that limit early voting, on the grounds that they put minority voters at a disadvantage.
In the Texas case, the Justice Department is invoking a separate provision of the Voting Rights Act to maintain the ban on voter ID cards.
Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation, co-author of the forthcoming book, "Obama's Enforcer: Eric Holder's Justice Department," said Holder's Georgetown speech "showed how political he is."
In pushing to give convicted felons the right to vote, "What he fails to mention is the fact that you don't just lose your right to vote. In most states, you lose your rights to own a gun, to sit on a jury, to engage in certain kinds of employment like being a police officer. Nowhere does he say a word about restoring those rights. That tells me he is only interested in the potential votes."
Holder has long been a lightning rod for conservative criticism of the Obama administration. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has held him in contempt and GOP lawmakers have demanded his resignation.
Most attorneys generals since the Nixon administration have been controversial figures because their jurisdiction covers ever more contentious and divisive legal issues, according to The Hill.