David Brooks: Eric Holder – 'Quite Strong on Civil Rights and Not So Strong on Civil Liberties'

David Brooks: Eric Holder – 'Quite Strong on Civil Rights and Not So Strong on Civil Liberties'

On Friday’s “NewsHour” on PBS, New York Times columnist David Brooks reacted to the announcement Attorney General Eric Holder earlier in the week.

According to Brooks, Holder had his supporters and detractors on both sides, both of which can be tied to his positions on civil liberties and civil rights.

“He’s got detractors and admirers on both left and right, more admirers on the left, obviously, and more dislike on the right,” Brooks said. “But what has been said about him, which I think is the essential truth, is that he was quite strong on civil rights and not so strong on civil liberties. And so, if you look at the record, especially in terms of incarceration, sentencing, Voting Rights Act, very, very aggressive. And I would like to especially highlight the incarceration, which I think is out of control in this country. And so his efforts there are much appreciated.”

“On the civil liberties, on the national security, he was very heavy on national security and not as respectful of civil liberty — liberties, and if you’re worried about terrorism and if you’re respecting the Bush administration, he followed a lot of the precedents and took them further,” he said. “And the one thing I really do object to — and this is parochial — is his incredibly aggressive assault on the press, the Associated Press reporters, the Fox News commentators. Going after the records and the phone records. That seemed to me appalling. And so — but that was of a piece of his national security approach.”

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