Washington (CNN) - Solicitor General Elena Kagan may have been nominated for the Supreme Court on Monday, but she isn't done with her current job yet.
"She will continue to work on matters with which she has been dealing, but will not participate in any new matters," a senior government official familiar with Kagan's plans told CNN.
As solicitor general, Kagan, among other things, helps prepare legal briefs for cases the Justice Department argues before the Supreme Court.
Kagan is expected to abstain from participation in cases on which she has worked which may come before the high court next term, the official said.
Washington (CNN) - If the new requirement that no-fly lists be checked by airlines every two hours had been in place, Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad would have been stopped before boarding a plane, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.
Pressed by lawmakers at a Senate hearing, Holder said the requirement for airlines to check no-fly lists every two hours instead of 24 hours likely could have prompted authorities at the airport to apprehend Shahzad sooner.
Shahzad was arrested late Monday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after boarding a flight bound for Dubai, United Arab Emirates. His final destination was Pakistan.
The Emirates plane had pulled away from the gate but was ordered back by customs officials. Shahzad was taken into custody.
Holder reiterated his statement to reporters Tuesday that he personally was "never worried" Shahzad would manage to escape, but acknowledged not everything went right.
Washington (CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that the Obama administration would likely decide within weeks where the accused 9/11 conspirators will go on trial.
Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that his original decision to hold the trial in a New York City civilian court remains "on the table,"
despite pressure against that venue from Republicans and New York officials.
When confronted later at the hearing by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, who opposes a New York trial, Holder said the concerns of city residents and officials would be taken into account.
After the hearing, Schumer issued a statement rejecting Holder's New York option.
Washington (CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder signed a treaty with Algeria on Wednesday that he hopes will help combat terrorism in an area crucial in the battle against violent extremists.
During a visit to Algiers, Holder signed the pact with Algerian Minister of Justice Tayeb Belaiz.
The United States has released 19 Guantanamo Bay detainees to Algeria over a span of several years. Some of the former detainees, including three this year, have been acquitted of terror-related crimes by Algerian courts.
"Algeria is an important partner in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime," Holder said. "This treaty will help us ensure that terrorists and other criminals are not able to avoid justice by simply hiding
evidence beyond our borders," Holder said.
Washington (CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder finally sent his answers from a November hearing to Senate Republicans Monday, on what was presumed to be the eve of an expected showdown between Holder and the GOP lawmakers over plans to close Guantanamo Bay prison and put detainees on trial in civilian courts.
But while Holder, his aides and Republican lawmakers were separately intently planning for the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Democrats were fretting about potentially missing the White House party to celebrate passage of a health care bill, aides acknowledged.
Judiciary Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, postponed the hearing late Monday to the consternation of both the Justice Department and the GOP. Holder is out of town on travel the rest of this week, and Congress is out the following week, so no new hearing date is scheduled.
The last-minute delivery of Justice Department responses to questions asked by the Republicans more than four months ago appeared to fuel an already agitated group of senators from the staunchly partisan Senate judiciary panel. GOP staff members were scrambling to go through the documents in advance of what they expected would be Holder's scheduled 9:30 a.m. appearance before the committee.
Washington (CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday declared that Justice Department lawyers, criticized for past representation of Guantanamo Bay prison detainees, are patriots who deserve to be praised.
"Let me be clear about this: Lawyers who provide counsel for the unpopular are - and should be treated as what they are - patriots," Holder told a friendly audience.
The crowd, gathered at a Washington hotel to honor voluntary free legal services for indigent criminal and terror suspects, burst into applause when Holder defended his attorneys.
Holder did not mention the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or al Qaeda by name, nor even refer directly to terrorism, but left no doubt to whom he was referring.
Washington (CNN) - A long-awaited Justice Department internal investigation of Bush-era lawyers who authored so-called "torture" memos clears them of allegations of professional misconduct and recommends no legal consequences for their actions.
The report by the Justice Department ethics unit concludes the high-ranking lawyers who developed controversial legal opinions on waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques may have exercised poor judgment but not professional misconduct.
The detailed examination of the legal guidance authored by Justice Department lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee found they did not constitute a professional breach that could have led to potential disbarment.
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration Friday acknowledged the White House is taking steps to rescue the Justice Department's troubled effort to find a home for the trial of the accused 9/11 conspirators.
The move represents a setback for Attorney General Eric Holder, who had spearheaded the decision to try self-admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court near the site of the attack on the Twin Towers.
Holder has made an issue of establishing Justice Department independence from interference by political influences.
However, with opposition to the November decision mounting in Congress and in New York City, the White House has stepped in, citing a political dimension that takes the issue beyond the legal considerations that guided Holder.
"Because Congress has become involved in this, because legislation could restrict the venue, and the type of trial, the White House is more involved, yes," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
Washington braced Tuesday for a second major winter storm. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) – The wheels of justice have been slowed but not paralyzed by the one-two punch of wintry blasts forcing much of the federal government to shut down this week.
Justice officials said Tuesday that essential personnel - including Attorney General Eric Holder - have managed to keep critical counterterrorism and other priority missions up and running - even as the nation's capital is buried in snow and bracing for more.
"All of the necessary national security functions and public safety functions are fully operational," FBI Assistant Director Michael Kortan told CNN.
But the weather has forced the closing of various U.S. attorneys' offices, affecting more than a thousand federal prosecutors and support staff in the Washington metro area alone.
Washington (CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder challenged his leading Republican critics Wednesday over the handling of the failed Christmas Day bomber, defending his decision to provide the suspect with Miranda warnings and charge him in a civilian court.
In identical letters to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans in Congress, Holder said he acted with the knowledge of all relevant government departments and agencies in deciding against treating suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab as an enemy combatant.
Holder also noted that similar past decisions on terrorism suspects by previous administrations of both parties received no criticism.
"The decision to charge Mr. AbdulMutallab in federal court, and the methods used to interrogate him, are fully consistent with the long-established and publicly known policies and practices of the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the United States government as a whole, as implemented for many years by administrations of both parties," Holder's letter said.
"Those policies and practices, which were not criticized when employed by previous administrations, have been and remain extremely effective in protecting national security," the letter said. "They are among the many powerful weapons this country can and should use to win the war against al Qaeda."