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. KLM

    To Mike from Dallas: YOU ARE SOOOO CORRECT...
    Many people braved the cold for hours on end for a change and end to this partison bickering. The Republicans need to remember that 2010 elections are coming up. The some of the Dems (even though I'm a Democrat) need to quit grandstanding. They all need to work together and quit acting like freaking 5th graders.

    However, I can't wait to volunteer and help campaign to get more republicans out of office.

    January 28, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. karen-Phoenix

    JUST confirm him and get on to the People's Business and get Washington cleaned up!!!! God Bless President Obama and his team and the American middle class survival!!

    January 28, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Happy Camper

    Oh no, here comes the Clinton machine...... More supeonas and judiciary log jams

    January 28, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. arc, Lugano CH

    Kurt C. January 28th, 2009 11:17 am ET
    This administration will go down as the most corrupt one we have ever had.
    Oh Dear. Quite an unfortunate comparison to make in regards to the Bush Administration.

    January 28, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Tired of the antics, PA

    Specter has no right to question Holder's fitness after the jokes appointed to this position by Bush. Where was his concern for someone's fitness. He is so gone in PA.

    January 28, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. JC

    This crook helped the biggest tax evader of all time and shold NOT become AG.

    January 28, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Larry from RI

    This should keep the criminal elements of the GOP reeling and on their heels – maybe Mr. Holder will keep them busy enough in court defending themselves over the debacle of the past 8-years so the country can move on and make some progress without them.
    After all they sure seem like they enjoy the status quote of being the problem instead of the solution!
    The GOP is dead and rotting from the inside!

    January 28, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Ellen Dougherty

    Another set of laws broken but waived to support that idiot Obama. This will not go overlooked. People will remember all this waiving of laws and ethical concerns...

    January 28, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. snowbunny

    I hope this is finalized this week, the president needs his people in place so the the work of the american people can be done. Anymore foolishness from the republicans will only cause more americans to turn away from them and 2010 won't be pretty. Unfortunately becoming completely irrelevant seems to be the new goal of the republicans with their blind disregard for the message the american people sent them with the election of President Obama.

    January 28, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Marie

    I strongly agree with you also Gracie why is it that the very ones that keep holding back were probably the ones that stood by and allowed the filthy rich on Wall Street get richer now all of a sudden they oppose what Obama propose in his stimulus package.Voices were silent for eight years and now all of a sudden they think they are helping the american people ...can they in good faith say they not see this comming with Wall Street.Coburn is at the top of the list and it makes you wonder how many times did he oppose when President Bush was in office.Just vote yes and let the country start a healing process and stop the same old politics that have crippled this country

    January 28, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Dems be dopes

    Memo to Nobamanutsand loony libs...

    Kind of reminds you of the Pied Piper tale of long ago....

    January 28, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Dick Cheese

    memo to mike dallas,

    Ever heard of Jones Town? he had hundreds of followers and they drank the kool aid......you hopefully know the rest.

    I'm not that naive.....sorry.

    January 28, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. Meh

    Kurt> Where have you been for the last 8 years? Wake up!

    January 28, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. You Got Change...Now What?

    How about outlawing terrorism? Oh, no. Sorry. Can't do that. Might insult some of the poor violated terrorists which tried to kill Americans.

    January 28, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. obama-mama

    Kurt C You're funny....I can't stop laughing....

    January 28, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. montag24

    Kurt, on what do you base your groundless charge?

    January 28, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Dan, TX

    I guess the republicans didn't really have any objection to Holder after all.... If Holder is OK as far as the republicans are concerned, I guess he's ok for the job. Same with Geithner.

    January 28, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. VIVA America!


    God's speed Mr. Holder. I have complete faith in you and in our President.

    Hang 'em high. Torture is indeed a war crime, proceed as necessary.

    January 28, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. Tim

    It's about time. Now maybe Holder can clean out the Bush left-overs from the DOJ and we can all sleep easier knowing all American interests are being held safe.

    And Kurt C.: The Bush administration already holds the honor of Worst ever.

    January 28, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. Jim in Raleigh

    Maybe Cornyn is just trying to be the new Jessie Helms. Senator No. Senator Obstruction. Senator Fool.

    January 28, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Washington Insider

    I am glad to see the Democrats are sticking together unanimously. This is not a time to separate from the pack, or fight internally.

    January 28, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. Jim

    Uncle S.A.M. January 28th, 2009 11:17 am ET

    Yes! Let's indict Dick Cheney and karl Rove NOW!!!

    Maybe you would want to come up with real evidence of real crimes first. Kooky conspiracy theories and liberal hysteria are not admissable in court.

    January 28, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Charles Brown

    Congratulations to Eric Holder '73 Columbia College from Charlie Brown and family, '71 Columbia SEAS.

    January 28, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. f kimbrough

    Uh .....What is Cornyn afraid of ?? What Holder will do to his good buddies Bush/Cheney?..your photo op is over.

    January 28, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. To: Kurt C.

    Calm down lad. It's only been 8 days. Why don't ya wait at least another 30 before you go ahead and label the administration as the most corrupt ever before the 1st term is even over. Neo-cons and the like GET A GRIP ON YOURSELVES!

    January 28, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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