Reid Praises Holder’s Nomination for Attorney General

Posted February 2, 2009 at 2:25pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to the floor Monday to hail Eric Holder’s nomination to serve as attorney general, setting the stage for Holder’s likely approval by the full Senate later this evening.

Holder, who if confirmed would be the first African-American to lead the Justice Department, is a “brilliant, honorable and exceptionally well-qualified individual” who will take on “historic challenges facing the Department of Justice,” Reid said.

“Although the parchment of our Constitution may be yellowed and the ink may be faded, as long as the Justice Department stands behind the people’s demands for liberty, the spirit of our founders will never lose its sheen,” Reid continued.

Holder served as deputy attorney general under then-President Bill Clinton, and has been in private practice since 2001.

His nomination, while all but assured, had come under fire early on given his role in some controversial Clinton-era pardons. He underwent a testy confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but ultimately panel Members voted 17-2 in favor of his installment.

That vote came one day after Judiciary ranking member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) announced his support for the nominee. Specter’s support was viewed as a key turning point for Holder and his installment as the next attorney general.