Eric Holder's Legacy

A major reason that Loretta Lynch was confirmed as America’s newest Attorney General by only a vote of 56 to 43 was her inability to distance herself from the disgraceful legacy of Attorney General Eric Holder, who has served in the job since being appointed by President Obama in 2009.

In a a recent Op-Ed by Hans von Spakovsky and John Fund, Lynch made it clear throughout her confirmation hearings that she did not disagree with a single act of Mr. Holder or Mr. Obama. Accordingly, her tenure will probably just be Holder 2.0.

Holder’s legacy has been marred in several instances that have completely demoralized the Justice Department.


Attorneys general are obligated to enforce the law in an objective, unbiased and nonpolitical manner. They must demonstrate the highest regard for the best interests of the public and their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States. Prior attorneys general of both political parties, such as Benjamin Civiletti, Griffin Bell, Ed Meese and Michael Mukasey, have fulfilled that duty to the highest ethical and professional standards.


Eric Holder did not live up to the aforementioned obligations of an Attorney General.  Holder became Obama’s right-hand man when Obama needed enforcement on unconstitutional or otherwise illegal laws. 


Mr. Holder’s failure to enforce federal laws such as our immigration statutes on a wholesale basis is a particularly acute betrayal of the most basic standard that applies to the attorney general. Instead of acting as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Mr. Holder instead has acted as the political lawyer of an overly partisan president. Perhaps that’s why Mr. Holder’s has one of the lowest approval ratings of any public official.

J. Christian Adams explains in a recent Op-Ed that Holder’s foremost agenda during his tenure as Attorney General was race.


Mr. Holder’s opposition to election integrity demonstrates the confluence of race and politics. He conjured all of the morally sacred language of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and employed it recklessly against voter ID.


He compared voter ID to a poll tax, even though courts had specifically rejected such a false comparison.


Just before Christmas in 2011, black voters were unexcited about Mr. Obama. So Mr. Holder launched a government-driven campaign against voter ID in South Carolina and activated a moribund political base for the president’s re-election. Without a racially polarized and activated base, Mr. Obama could not have won in 2012.


It is unlikely that Loretta Lynch will be able to turn around Eric Holder’s legacy and become an Attorney General with the highest regard for the law. 

The 43 members of the Senate who have voted against her confirmation have shown great concern that she will continue Holder's ineffectiveness within the Department of Justice. Now that Lynch has been sworn in, we hope that during her tenure as the 83rd Attorney General she enforces the law in an objective, unbiased and nonpolitical manner unlike her predecessor.