January 28th, 2009
11:13 AM ET
9 months ago

Judiciary Committee endorses Holder for attorney general

The committee's Democratic members unanimously supported Eric Holder.
The committee's Democratic members unanimously supported Eric Holder.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to send the nomination of Attorney General-designate Eric Holder to the full Senate.

The committee's Democratic members unanimously supported Holder; GOP Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma voted no.

Holder's Senate floor vote and swearing in could be completed as soon as Thursday.

The committee's endorsement of Holder was virtually assured on Tuesday when the committee's top Republican, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, announced his support of Holder's nomination.

Specter had angered Holder during the committee's confirmation hearing 11 days ago when he questioned Holder's "fitness" for the office.

In particular, the Pennsylvania senator questioned whether Holder would be politically independent from the White House, recalling Holder's refusal as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration to seek an independent counsel for an investigation of allegedly questionable fund-raising by then-Vice President Al Gore.

A clearly annoyed Holder warned Specter he was "getting close to the line in questioning my integrity."

It was the only heated exchange during a long day of testimony.

Specter, who later met with Holder privately, had also been particularly aggressive in challenging Holder's account of his role in the pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich by President Bill Clinton. He raised additional concerns about the possible prosecution of Bush-era officials who were operating under what they presumed to be a lawful order when they engaged in harsh interrogation techniques.

Outgoing Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip is serving as acting attorney general until Holder arrives at the Justice Department.

If confirmed by the full Senate, Holder, 58, will become the nation's first African-American attorney general.


Filed under: Eric Holder
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Mike in NYC

    More "hate" speech and "hate" crime laws coming to your country, soon.

    And watch out, Internet, because you'll be next.

    January 28, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Holder has more intellect and integrity in his pinkie finger than Alberto had in his whole being.......and the Repubs put his nomination through in the blink of an eye. Get with it guys......let this man get to work.

    January 28, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. In Houston, TX

    We the people of the United States of America must DEMAND that the Bush administration be prosecuted for the litany of crimes they have commited. We must do this in order to restore our moral standing in the world. America used to represent what is best about humanity and the Bush administration changed that. There actions represent an error that must be corrected. There is a reckoning that must be had.

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
    And to the republic for which it stands
    ONE NATION! under God INDIVISIBLE (no matter who or what tries to divide us, no matter how hard they try we remain INDIVISIBLE)
    With liberty and JUSTICE for all. (including the president.)

    Let justice be served or the heavens fall!!!
    LET JUSTICE BE SERVED OR THE HEAVENS FALL

    January 28, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. cnnnewser

    YEAH!!!
    I was hoping they would.

    January 28, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Proud American

    Good. Now lets get to work!!

    January 28, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. DumpTheGOP

    Kurt C. I do hope you are referring to the Bush administration.

    January 28, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Patty in the CA mountains

    I can't wait for the subpoenas to start flying out the door toward Crawford, TX.....

    Did the Republican's ask Gonzalez if HE would be independent of the President? If so, and if he answered "yes", he should be tapped for perjury.

    and Kurt C., surely you mean the bush administration, right?

    January 28, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Billy

    Oh yeah, Cornyn could support Gonzales, who was a legal hack and lackey for Bush, but votes no on Holder. I guess Cornyn could relate to Gonzales, Cornyns a hack too. Enough of the political games already.

    Sorry Kurt, the GW Bush admin takes the prize for most corrupt.

    January 28, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Outspoken

    So now we have a tax cheat running the Department of Commerce, an accomplice in the Marc Rich debacle running the Department of Justice, and a plargarist for Vice President. I love these "higher ethical standards." Bush and Cheney, you're looking better every day. I can't wait for 2012 to get here. I hope our government can survive that long.

    January 28, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. geecee

    Kurt C. – They will have a long, long way to go before they beat Nixon and Bush as being considered the most "corrupt". Maybe you don't remember the Nixon administration. V.P. Agnew; Attorney General, John Mitchell; and there was Charles Colson, Haldemann, Erlichmann, G. Gordon Liddy, and a few others who all did prison time. These men were Nixon's chief of staff and closest advisors. Read some history before you talk about corruption!.

    January 28, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. daniel cabrera

    If we are going to take /accept terroist advocates to lead this nation then this guy is a perfect one,... and in the process that makes Obama and ENEMY OF THE STATE.

    How you like that ? ....ENEMIES AT THE GATE ? Humm, not good !

    sincerely,
    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville, Indiana

    January 28, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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