Eric Holder Confirmation Hearing (Day 1)

Opening Remarks Before Senate Judiciary Committee

CQ Transcripts Wire
Friday, January 16, 2009; 11:58 AM

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT.): Just so that everybody understands, we are in the historic Senate Caucus Room. Normally, we would have been in a different room, but there are a number of these hearings going on. And there are certainly more people than we normally see in the hearings.

Lately, there seem to be a number of demonstrations in hearings. I just want everybody to understand the ground rules. I want everybody to be able to watch this hearing. I want them to be able to watch it comfortably. If people stand up and block the view of those behind them, I would direct the officers to remove the people who are blocking the view.

Now, I'll take this position whether people are standing up in demonstration of a position for or against one I might hold or for or against one Senator Specter might hold or any other senator.

I'm sure that's not going to be necessary. I'm sure everybody's going to show appropriate amount of decorum. But that's what we -- that is what we expect and that is was we'll have.

So with that, I welcome everybody here. The election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden and the president- elect's selection of Eric Holder, Jr. to be attorney general for the United States provides an historic opportunity for the country to move past the partisanship of the past decades.

We can make a real difference if we come together to solve the nation's problems and protect against serious threats and meet the challenges of our times.

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