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

Judiciary Committee endorses Holder for attorney general

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/28/art.getty.holder.jpg caption="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. IsaacTheForcedCatholic

    About time! GOP needs to stop playing this "game" they keep on playing. They are playing with out lives and it is getting really old.

    The extinction of the GOP can't come soon enough.

    January 28, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Democrats Rule

    I'm so tired of the games they are playing with these confirmations I could spit. Do your jobs folks. If you don't believe a nominee is qualified then vote no – if you believe he/she is then vote yes – but in either case stand up and do your job. Diddling around and hand wringing is not what the taxpayers are paying you to do

    January 28, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Cabinet Crooks

    Another Obama crook gets rubber-stamped for the Cabinet. Shame on the Congress!!!

    January 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Ed

    once again the actual facts of what RL said is not what is being presented. Rush did say he hoped Obama would fail if he ran the country from the far left. He is opposed to the new 850 billion package and if any one has researched they can see the plan has nothing to do with getting the economy moving. It is the Dems way of capitalizing on a weak economy to pass big gvt programs that will not help the working stiff. RL did say he hoped Obama would do well if he managed the country from the center. But when has the liberal news or any lib really cared about what was being said. Do you really want 325 million going to purchase condoms, or 450 million sent overseas for abortions. Thats just some of the pork hidden in the 600 plus page bill that you can rest assured those who are going to vote on it never read

    January 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Don

    On March 19, 2007 Limbaugh referred to Barack Obama as a "magic negro," citing an L.A. Times editorial by David Ehrenstein which claimed that Obama was filling the role of the magic negro, and that this explained his appeal to voters. Limbaugh then later played a song by Paul Shanklin, "Barack the Magic Negro," sung to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon.Limbaugh had previously referred to Obama as "Halfrican American", a term which he also applied to actress Halle Berry. Limbaugh cited the Ehrenstein editorial, and said that the point of the comment was to highlight "race-obsessed Democrats", who had questioned whether Obama was black enough..........What a bigot !!!!

    January 28, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. Gordon Shumway

    He can go join the other crooks and cheats on the cabinet. Guess that's what Obama meant by "Change"!

    January 28, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Dan

    This guy should not be our Attorney General. Has anybody seen Marc Rich recently? I am sure he will visit white house very soon.

    January 28, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Roger

    Hey Kurt C. there is no way that the Obama administration will go down as the most corrupt ever. The most corrupt, hypocritical, extremest bunch of wackos just left office....GW's administration was clueless examples look at our economy, foreclosures, stock market, unemployment, Katrina, 2 wars (one was an invasion) I need not continue....most republicans don't have a clue they live in another world when it comes to the GOP...they think GW was a good president.

    January 28, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. katiec

    Wonder if any republicans ever read the blogs related to different articles. It is obvious the American people are so sick of their politics as usual but they are either oblivious or just do not care.
    With all our diasters it is time to move our country forward.
    Enough grandstanding, ego trips and hypocrisy. Do the job you
    were elected to do and that does not mean further destruction of
    our once great nation.

    January 28, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. REG in AZ

    All of these actions between Republicans and Democrats, much of it actually being just political posturing intended to affect public opinion, can be disheartening as not having any real benefit for the people. Then take Gates' recent statement that "ethics reform is had at a cost", which is true but problematic. While true ethics reform may eliminate from consideration many highly qualified people, if there hadn't of been the drastic, irresponsible and even arrogant abuse recently incurred, then maybe there wouldn't be so much pressure to insure it is prevented. Can't ask the people to trust when there is a history of abuse, especially like what has occurred over the last eight years.

    January 28, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Chuck

    Hey, Kurt C. ........The Obama administration has only begun. Unless you are truly clairvoyant, which I doubt, you are coming across as a total imbecile. Accept the results and live with it, moron.

    January 28, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Simmy

    Great! Now the Boehner and Cantor-bury tails begin. When will they learn?

    January 28, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. legal in nc

    Great, now let's put Frank, Pelosi, Dodd, Reid, and Paulson in jail for what they have done to our economy.

    Go get 'em Holder!

    January 28, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. REG in AZ

    All of these actions between Republicans and Democrats, much of it actually being just political posturing intended to affect public opinion, can be disheartening as not having any real benefit for the people. Then take Gates' recent statement that "ethics reform is had at a cost", which is true but problematic. While true ethics reform may eliminate from consideration many highly qualified people, if there hadn't of been the drastic, irresponsible and even arrogant abuse recently incurred, then maybe there wouldn't be so much pressure to insure it is prevented. They can't ask the people to just trust when there is a history of abuse, especially like what has occurred over the last eight years.

    January 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Jackie

    I agree with Gracie. The Republicans vote NO against everything. Makes you wonder what they want. If they want to win another 4 years in the White House, they better stop being so negative. Leave that to Rush Loser

    January 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Simmy

    Kurt C.,

    You are corrupt. Out of a corrupt mind comes corrupt thoughts. Exhale......Exhale...................

    This administration will rise up to be the most successful in your lifetime.

    God Bless America!

    January 28, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. Dave

    Kurt C...you got it all wrong. You must have been asleep during the last 8yrs. The most corrupt administration just left office. They passed the Clinton Administration with scandal 5 times over. Lowest approval ratings of all time. More scandals, indictments and convictions of republican elected officials over the last 8yrs. Worst economy, reputation in the world, two wars, millions of jobs lost, millions of foreclosures, corruption on Wall Street. Need I say more. Name another period of time in the last 40yrs, where this has happened.

    Change is in the air. Yes WE can!

    January 28, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. joseph

    Kurt C. I think you mean the past administration being the most corrupt we've ever had.

    January 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Obama 2.0

    Good, Next, and keep working and don't come out until you fix it.

    January 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Anne Byrnes

    Soldiers take an oath of allegience to the president of the United State. Any immigrant accepting citizenship pledges loyalty of the United State. How sad that someone as prominent as Rush Limbaugh has reportly said he wants Obama to fail. As a citizen, he owes loyalty to the elected government of the United States. He can vote as he pleases, but after the vote, he has a responsibility to support the president. If Obama fails, the nation fails. Is that what he wants? I will admit that I have never listened to his program. This report certainly will not encourage me to start.

    January 28, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. mary

    These 2 senators will never vote for anyone who has been chosen by this administration even if it was to their advantage... I don't know what Kurt C. is talking about., the've been in power one week, maybe he slept through the innaugaration and thinks that George Bush is still in power.

    January 28, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Crush Rush

    Now lets get Rove and the rest of the crooks.

    January 28, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Soccer Nana

    @Kurt c., have you been sleeping these last eight years. The corrupt administration just left office. Face the facts.

    @ Uncle s.a.m., Cheney and Gonzales have already been indicted, sometime back in November 2008.

    Rove, who probably despises President Obama, is now seeking President Obama's assistance in not being served yet another subpoena. Now that he is a private citizen and Bush is no longer the president, he will be arrested if he ignores the new subpoena.

    January 28, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. RJN

    He is a "YES MAN" and that is what Obama wants and will get.
    No backbone to stand up for what is right.

    I see the good old days of Jimmie Carter coming back into office!!
    Ah can't wait !!!!

    January 28, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Simpliticus

    Once Holder has been confirmed, let the investigations begin of the Bush administration! Holder's slowdown simply has been a desired hope that Holder would not engage in the nefarious actions of George W. Bush with promises that he just would look the other way. And possibly, that timely limitation of the hospital visitation by Card and Gonzales to gain the Attorney General's signature to sign off on the assault on FISA which occurred in March might have drawn out the timely and prudent confirmation as well, some have argued! This to no avail as the shenanigans of Bush are now becoming obvious with the revelations on a weekly basis. Holder will have the opportunity to arrange for an independent counsel to look into these matters and look he will!

    January 28, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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