2009 February 3

Eric Holder Becomes First African-American Attorney General


Appointed by President Barack Obama, Eric Holder on this day became the first African-American to be U.S. Attorney General. He had previously served in President Bill Clinton’s administration as Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno. In his first five years in office, Holder established a mixed record on civil liberties. He was very good on civil rights enforcement, particularly on voting rights and police misconduct. At the same time, however, his Justice Department prosecuted more people for leaking government information than any previous administration, and he did not object to the massive extension of spying on Americans by the National Security Agency, which was exposed on June 5, 2013.

Hear Eric Holder proposes major criminal justice reforms:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oteyZs8Yvv4

Read an ACLU critique of Holder on targeted killings: https://www.aclu.org/national-security/aclu-comment-eric-holder-speech-targeted-killing-program

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