Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holder's New Gig


Previous AG's can probably tell tales of the pressure to fill the shoes of their predecessors, or to continue, successfully, the achievements of the Dept. of Justice in upholding justice itself.

What'd Janet Reno have to contend with? Taking down a few nude calendars? The next Attorney General of the United States steps into very different circumstances I doubt anyone could be prepared for.

Holder, who'd be the first black attorney general if confirmed by the Senate, would be taking the helm of a department that's still recovering from charges of cronyism and partisan politicking and debatable opinions about the legality of harsh interrogation techniques, electronic eavesdropping habeas corpus and the laws of war.

Holder also has made it clear that he plans to steer the department away from the Bush administration's most controversial policies on terrorism, such as jailing detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison. Yet, he hasn't signaled how he'd go about making those ambitious changes.

"The challenges are going to be monumental," said Guy Lewis, a former Justice Department lawyer in the Clinton and Bush administrations.
Imagine being handed the keys to the office, with little more to work with than "I think someone pooped on the desk in the Assistant AG's office, and we don't know what that smell coming from the basement is. Good luck!" and knowing your first task is going to be entire legal system back on track in upholding the constitution and the rule of law.

Suddenly the list of things I have to do today feels a little less daunting.

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