CFI supports Obama’s choice for attorney general

January 8, 2009

 The Center for Inquiry is listed among the civil rights organizations that have submitted letters of support for the nomination of Eric Holder to be attorney general of the U.S.  In addition to the letter that the CFI/Office of Public Policy signed on, we also sent our own letter of support to the Senate Judiciary Committee leaders. Here it is.


January 7, 2009

Chairman Patrick Leahy

U.S. Senate

433 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington DC 20510-4502


Ranking Member Arlen Specter


711 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington DC 20510-3802

Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Specter:

On behalf of the Center for Inquiry, a grassroots organization that encourages policy-making based on evidence and reason, we want to express our strong support for the nomination of Eric Holder to become Attorney General of the United States.

Mr. Holder is the right man at the right time—not only the first African-American nominated to the post, but also uniquely qualified to restore the U.S. Department of Justice to its rightful place as an example of integrity and fairness.

Mr. Holder’s record is stellar: he has been a Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and a judge. What is probably most telling in his record, however, is his independence in prosecuting those who may have committed crimes, regardless of their political party or loyalties. Mr. Holder prosecuted Democratic Congressman Dan Rostenkowski when he was U.S. Attorney for D.C.   As Deputy Attorney General he advised Attorney General Janet Reno to expand the scope of Kenneth Starr’s investigation, which ultimately led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Of course he was heavily criticized by members of his own party, but Mr. Holder put principle over party. He acted similarly when he advised Attorney General Reno to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Bruce Babbitt, then Secretary of the Interior.   Mr. Holder created a task force which developed a regulation which guides the appointment of special counsels in high-level federal investigations.This record should argue convincingly against any suggestion that Mr. Holder might extend favorable treatment to members of his own party. 

It would be difficult to find a candidate more qualified than Mr. Holder to become U.S. Attorney General. He is experienced in all aspects of the law; committed to its principles of equal justice for all; forceful in his defense of civil and voting rights; impartial in all his dealings.   We applaud the choice of Eric Holder and look forward to his confirmation by your committee and the Senate.