The Hill: Shilling for a Resurgent Holder
The Hill argues that Attorney General Eric Holder is resurgent after a series of scandals seemed to portend his fall. The paper writes that Holder’s new aggressive actions in calling for states to give felons the right to vote and arguing to change voting laws in Texas and North Carolina because he wants to go to war over the Supreme Court’s ruling over the Voting Rights act mark a return to an assertive posture for the embattled attorney general.
Of course, The Hill does paint a certain kind of picture, calling the SCOTUS decision one that “gutted” the Voting Rights Act, and characterizing Holder’s attacks on Texas and North Carolina as “fighting hard to restore some of the key powers of the Voting Rights Act.”
The Hill laments that “Holder has been a consistent conservative target throughout his time in office, with issues from the Fast and Furious scandal to his stance on the Voting Rights Act raising the ire of the right,” while allowing that “In 2012, Holder became the first attorney general to be held in contempt by the House of Representatives while, the year before, he had to retreat from his earlier insistence that suspects in the September 11, 2001 attacks should be tried in criminal court in New York.”
Portraying the attorney general as a man under siege, the paper also notes that “Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) has sponsored a resolution in the House with 140 co-sponsors calling for Holder’s immediate resignation.”
But, of course, according to The Hill, this cannot be due to Holdser’s malfeasance; rather, he’s a convenient target for those who dislike his boss, Barack Obama. The Hill had to search far and wide and finally go to Brian Landsberg, a constitutional law expert at the University of the world-renowned Pacific McGeorge School of Law, to get this quote: “I think there is a lot of shrill rhetoric regarding the Obama administration in general, and he is seen very much as the president’s man. Attacks on him are in effect an attack on the president.” Landsberg also pooh-poohed Fast and Furious, saying, “I think he got off to a bad start with Fast and Furious — it was an issue that was poorly handled. But I don’t quite understand all of the criticism. I don’t know why the decibel level is as high as it is.”
DOJ spokesman Brian Fallon decried notions of Holder stepping down, saying, “The most the attorney general has said is that he still has a lot he wants to accomplish on issues like criminal justice reform, voting rights and LGBT equality. He did not speak about his plans any further than that.”
Speaking of voting rights for felons, Holder said, “This isn’t just about fairness for those who are released from prison. It’s about who we are as a nation. It’s about confronting, with clear eyes and in frank terms, disparities and divisions that are unworthy of the greatest justice system the world has ever known.”
But Hans von Spakovsky, a former Justice Department official, noted Holder’s disingenuousness, saying:
That speech showed how political he is. All he talks about is the restoration of voting rights for felons. 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.