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. Steve from Florida

    I guess that Specter forgets how he compromised his own ideals when he kissed W's butt to get his Judiciary chaimanship.

    January 28, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Laverne

    To Kurt C. – Umm, the Bush administration is the corrupt ones. If you did your homework on that as much as you have focused on bashing Obama and his administration, you might be shocked as what you learn. Obama as the support of the people of America and we will HELP make his presidency a successful one! He will do great things.

    January 28, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Erich W.

    Pardon for FALN terrorists, pardon for Marc Rich, now our chief law enforcement officer. YES WE CAN!!!!!! Congratulations to Coburn Cornyn who show they are the only two on the committee with a spine.

    January 28, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. No way Rush

    Kurt C. You've got to be kidding, the most corrupt administration just left the White House.

    Now let get to work, about time.

    January 28, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Sharon Kitchen


    January 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Stan

    Gracie, it's called letting the process work.
    Do you want every nominee to be blindly accepted?
    Holder is not a suitable candidate if only because of his role in the Marc Rich affair.

    January 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. T-bone

    The republitards are so jealous!!! Obamas good looking and COOL!!! And he smokes Kools!!! I bought a pack today!!!

    January 28, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The worst that they can say is that he didn't look carefully enough at one of many pardons questions coming across his desk? He's appologized for that and can do better. This is seeming like it is being done just to annoy Obama.

    January 28, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. DawnS

    The Republicans will return in 2010 filled with "I told you so" when the sleazy Democrats like Holder and Geithner (not to mention Hillary and Bubba) show their true colors.

    January 28, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Wynter

    Cornyn and Coburn are so out of touch with reality they should be removed from office. They are doing NO ONE any good by playing games with the Holder nomination. We need a strong Atty General and have one nominated.

    To Texans: Cornyn is an embarassment to his constituents and our country asking obviously "stupid" questions of the nominee. Elect a "competent" senator and send him to Washington or don't send anyone at all!!!

    January 28, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Florida John

    He is a JOKE – just more of the NOBAMA corruption that will become evident during his Reign as the Messiah.

    January 28, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. ray

    i do hope that all republicans be out of office sooner that later.

    January 28, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Anne

    No Kurt, that honor is already taken...

    January 28, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Mike Dallas

    Memo to neo-cons and bible-beaters.

    Please note the satellite picture of millions of American citizens that have braved 20 degree weather from 3 A.M. 'til noon and when you feel like being an obstructionist, review the photo.

    Then you can decide if you want to get on board or be run over, but you will NOT be able to stop the people of America.

    January 28, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. garin

    What remains to be seen and observed is the quality of candour in Eric Holder's close future legal encounters with the congress and the house. We wiil have to hold him to that, most certainly.

    January 28, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Mike the Independent from Ohio

    This guy scares me, he cares nothing for indvidual rights....as he has stated before, he views the indvidual bill of rights as collective rights, not indvidual, this guy is scary

    January 28, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Dont blame me

    IDIOTS !!!!!!

    Anne, your right, that honor goes to the Clintons!!

    January 28, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Bill Charlotte, NC

    Good old "Cornie"; he has nothing left but his butt-head attitude.

    January 28, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. EC

    Thank you, now let's get to work.

    January 28, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  20. Reidy

    The GOBs are at it again. What do they fear?

    January 28, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. Tool

    Simply another tool of the dictator-in-chief.

    January 28, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Michael M. Noonan

    A puppet of Bill and Hillary ( what name is she using now?) Clinton who pardoned Marc Rich and Puerto Rican murderers (so his wife could court the Puerto Rican vote, while Holder,dangled by strings, offered no resistance, this man is not fit for office.

    January 28, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Jae

    Mike Dallas – Thank you, thank you. I am so sick of these people who think they can shame us into returning to the misery of the Bush years by being negative. My thought is We have a LEADer that we can FOLLOW, OR, if you choose not to, GET OUT OF THE WAY.

    To borrow their phrase when Bush and Supremes stole an election – 'We won. Get over it."

    January 28, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Steve

    About time.

    Now, it's time for the war crimes prosecutions! 😀

    January 28, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Too bad we have a Constitution which specifies that the appointments to the cabinet are to be done with the advice and consent of the Senate. Holder's role in the questionable pardons is fair game. The process was followed, and now he'll be confirmed. Just because Obama won doesn't mean he's been elected God. Most of his appointments have been confirmed by unaimous voice votes on Inauguration Day. Why is it we never hear you Dem whiners congratulate the Reps for their cooperation on those? Are you guys going to whine every time someone doesn't immediately kowtow to Lord Obama. If so, get a big hanky, because you'll be shedding lots of tears.

    January 28, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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