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President-elect Obama Picks Holder
By Sentinel News Service
Published November 20, 2008

He will be the first Black attorney general in America's history

Eric Holder, the 57-year-old who served as deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton, has accepted the position as head of the Justice Department as the first Black U.S. Attorney General, a senior Democrat stated this week.

While Obama will be the first black president, Holder would be the first African American to head the department, which is in charge of enforcing US civil rights laws.

US political analyst Jon-Christopher Bua said: "This appointment is a very good start with little controversy.

"Eric Holder is a very solid and trustworthy Washington veteran who is just the prescription for a sickened Justice Department, which has been languishing in the swamp of a post-Gonzales rule."

Obama wants widespread backing from Senate Democrats and Republicans for his attorney general.

That would put him in a strong position to clean up the department, which was wracked by scandals during the Bush administration.

In the past week, Obama's aides have asked Senate Republicans whether they would support Holder following his involvement in the 2001 pardon of Marc Rich.

Rich, a wealthy commodities dealer, had spent years on the run from tax charges.

On the last day of Clinton's term, Holder was asked whether the president should pardon Rich.

Holder said he was "neutral, leaning towards favorable" on the pardon. And Clinton later cited that as one of the factors that persuaded him to issue the pardon.

Holder has publicly apologized for what he said was a snap decision, and admitted he should have advised against a pardon.

Categories: National

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