Hans von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation has co-authored a book with National Review Columnist John Fund entitled Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department. The book is a careful examination of the Holder Justice Department’s egregious violations of the law and relentless pursuit of the Obama political agenda.
Hans von Spakovsky, who will be a featured speaker at this year’s National Election Law Seminar, presented his book during a panel discussion at The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. Von Spakovsky explains how Holder was selected by Obama for his reputation of partisan loyalty. “Eric Holder is an ideologue. He considers himself the President’s attorney first, the attorney general second. . . . He was the number two guy there at the Clinton Administration. In fact, he was the go-to guy for the White House. Why? Because they didn’t trust Janet Reno to make the right political decisions. But they trusted Eric Holder to do that.”
Also on the panel, Fund says that, “the Supreme Court has ruled against the Justice Department’s position on key issues approximately a dozen times,” as a result of Holder’s extreme positions. He further highlights that, “these are all unanimous defeats. Over the last two or three terms, the Obama Administration’s Justice Department has succeeded before the Supreme Court only about 40% of the time. That is compared to an average of over 70% for previous Presidents in the last half-century. To put that into perspective, they have failed more than twice as often as the Clinton Administration.”
Holder makes decisions based on politics. Von Spakovsky says that Attorneys General are required to perform a careful balancing act, weighing law enforcement and the political interest of the President. However, he observes that every time Holder has come to that fork in the road, he has chosen political interests. Holder has, “contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law. . . . You are taking an extreme legal position when all nine justices of the Supreme Court disagree with you, including your former Solicitor General, and yet we have a dozen cases like that.”
Reflecting on his time at the Justice Department, von Spakovsky notes that when Holder testifies before Congress, “I don’t know,” either he has contempt for the interview or he has an incompetent staff. Having communicated with current Justice Department officials, he can guarantee it is not the latter.
Von Spakovsky and Fund both argue that the only remedy for this dangerous course of action is to appoint an ethical attorney general. “Eric Holder and his subordinates have politicized the Justice Department to a degree that I have never seen before. The only way to do anything about this is through new leadership. You need an ethical Attorney General, and those get chosen only by the President. Until we get a new Attorney General in, who is willing to bring the standards of the Department back up as prior Attorneys General of both political parties have done, nothing is going to happen to clean up the Department.”