Debate Club

Contempt Vote Was Nothing But a Political Maneuver

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Last week's contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder was a divisive, disingenuous, and ludicrous political maneuver that does nothing to advance justice. This is just another example of politicians valuing cable news sound bites over sound governing.

Attorney General Holder has been candid about the botched Fast and Furious program. He has handed over more than 7,000 documents related to the operation—a program nearly identical to Operation Wide Receiver, which was botched under the Bush administration. Attorney General Holder has also testified in front of Congress more than eight times on this issue.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

It is disappointing that this sitting attorney general and distinguished legal advocate is being attacked by some in Congress for what seems to be partisan political gain. Eric Holder was confirmed as one of the most qualified attorneys general in our nation's history. Originally nominated to the Superior Court by President Reagan after serving as a U.S. Attorney, he also served as deputy attorney general under Janet Reno, and then as interim deputy attorney general during Attorney General John Ashcroft's transition period.

The reality is that many of the same politicians behind these charges also tried and failed to add riders to the Department of Justice's appropriations that would restrict resources necessary to fight racial profiling and enforce voting rights and labor rights, among other constitutional protections. We can only hope that this overzealous and misguided attack on Attorney General Holder is not another attempt to distract the Department of Justice from protecting and enforcing the civil, labor, and voting rights of all Americans.

Hilary O. Shelton

About Hilary O. Shelton Vice President of Policy and Advocacy for the NAACP

Department of Justice
Holder, Eric
House of Representatives

Other Arguments

94 Pts
Finding Eric Holder in Contempt Was Necessary to Discover the Truth

Yes – Finding Eric Holder in Contempt Was Necessary to Discover the Truth

Chris Cox Executive Director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action

-142 Pts
The House's Contempt Vote Does Nothing to Address the Real Arms Problem in Mexico

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