February 2nd, 2009
06:44 PM ET
13 years ago

BREAKING: Holder confirmed as Attorney General

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/02/art.holderpt0202.gi.jpg caption="Eric Holder will become the country's first African-American Attorney General once he's sworn in after being confirmed by the Senate Monday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Senate confirmed Eric Holder as attorney general Monday, voting 75-21 to place him in charge of the Department of Justice.

Holder, 58, is a former federal prosecutor and served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration. His confirmation makes him the first African-American confirmed to the post, though he held the job on an acting basis in early 2001.

Monday's vote leaves him set to take over a Justice Department battered by a series of controversies during the Bush administration, from questions about how it laid legal groundwork for harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists to the sackings of top federal prosecutors in several cities.

"There's a big job to do, and it's going to be Mr. Holder's duty to turn this department around and restore its credibility," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California.

During confirmation hearings, Republicans questioned his role in former President Bill Clinton's widely criticized last-minute pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich and questioned whether he would be independent of the White House.

Updated: 6:44 p.m.

Filed under: Eric Holder • Justice Department
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. TjayeInLA

    Congrats!! I love how your government is starting to look more and more like our nation actually looks.

    And I love, even more, how Pres. Obama, Sec'y of State Clinton, Atty. Gen. Holder, Sec. Napolitano and others are celebrated, but Michael Steele is mocked. It's rotten, but I'm enjoying the giggle from it. LOL

    February 2, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  2. james in s.c.

    good!!! now for Holder to go after all the illegal dealing from the Bush and his administration. the next few years should be exciting!

    February 2, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  3. Once you vote Black

    Great! Now he can go after Bush.

    February 2, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. GP

    21 voted No? Really? What was their concern? Did they think that Holder wasn't independent enough? That he wasn't of the same make and model as Gonzales and Mukasey?

    Buh bye, repubs. Buh bye.

    February 2, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. There is no excuse

    Well it's not like this guy didn't pay his taxes, for crying out loud people, all he did was let terrorists go and be front and center in helping pardon an anti-american and financial fraud, Marc Rich.

    WE LOVE Tax cheats, pro-terrorists and "anti-safety for our country as we don't want to offend anyone" members of the Obama cabinet...

    Did I forget the Secretary of state who won't give up the millions that hubby is getting from foreign nationals while she strikes back door deals with them?

    Change we can believe in?


    February 2, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  6. Jenny

    Seems to be the right man for the job, and I am a republican. I say this because it is nice for once that Obama is supporting someone who actually believes people should obey the law, whether they are in power or not.

    February 2, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. Reg


    February 2, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  8. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Another loser?

    February 2, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  9. Andy

    Such harsh treatment for suspected terrorist? Even look at todays newspaper a UN person was kidnapped in Pakistan. How do you think you're suppose to get information out of a "Suspected Terrorist". Im sorry but I won't be apart of an administration that turns a blind eye to terrorism.

    February 2, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  10. Barbara Campbell

    Neocons questioned whether he would be "independent of the White House"??? They're wondering about that NOW???

    February 2, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. 2Young2Vote-OR

    Well that's cool, hopefully the rest of the administration will fill up soon, and hopefully Holder makes sure justice is treated as justice. They gotta make sure not to repeat Bush administration mistakes.

    February 2, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  12. David

    I just hope he goes after those responsible for violating the constitution. I fear that Obama does not have the guts or political will at this time. I do know that if it was the other way around, the Republicans would let the dogs loose with far more frenzy than they did for the blue dress.

    February 2, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. Larry

    In the past,we found out a politician was dishonest---
    Today we know politician is dishonest before he even starts-–

    February 2, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. Gerry In Toronto

    Congratulations to Mr. Holder. I'm sure he will be a great Attorney General.

    February 2, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  15. Hayden

    2nd Amendment.. R.I.P.

    February 2, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Janet Reno was attorney general and Holder was deputy attorney general during the Clinton era. How could Holder possibly be held responsible for anybodies pardon so this is no brainer that he would be confirmed.

    February 2, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Pamma

    If you believe Gonzales was controversial, Holder will be unbelievable.

    February 2, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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