Holder Hearings Set for Jan. 8

Posted December 9, 2008 at 3:03pm

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that he will hold confirmation hearings on Jan. 8 for Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick for attorney general.

Congressional Democrats have said they plan to move swiftly to confirm major figures of Obama’s Cabinet. Leahy said earlier this week that he would like to have a Senate confirmation vote on Holder soon after Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

Holder met with Leahy on Monday and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday afternoon.

“President-elect Obama has shown great care in his Cabinet selections, and his early announcement of Mr. Holder’s designation should lead to prompt consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate,” Leahy said in a statement. “The American people and our justice system need our constructive engagement and the installation of the new leadership of the Justice Department without delay.”

Some Republicans have raised concerns about the Holder nomination and his involvement in then-President Bill Clinton’s controversial pardon of Democratic donor Marc Rich. Holder was deputy attorney general in 2000 when the pardon was issued.