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In Transition

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Eric H. Holder Jr.

Current job: Partner, Covington & Burling.

Credentials: Former judge, D.C. Superior Court; former deputy attorney general in the Justice Department; former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

What he offers: Holder has extensive experience in the criminal justice system and with civil court disputes. He staunchly backed community policing programs to reduce violent crime and raised morale within the Justice Department during his tenure. Holder served as a co-chairman of the Obama presidential campaign.

Vetting: Holder took flak in 2001 for failing to object to a last-minute pardon request for fugitive Marc Rich, whose ex-wife is a prolific Democratic Party donor, when others in the Clinton administration pushed through the petition during its last hours in office.

Quote: "Our needlessly abusive and unlawful practices in the 'war on terror' have diminished our standing in the world community and made us less, rather than more, safe," Holder told an American Constitution Society for Law and Policy audience this year. "For the sake of our safety and security, and because it is the right thing to do, the next president must move immediately to reclaim America's standing in the world as a nation that cherishes and protects individual freedom and basic human rights."

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