01.09.09

Former Republican Officials Endorse Holder’s Nomination

WASHINGTON (Friday, Jan. 9, 2009) – Former Republican officials are expressing their strong support for the nomination of Eric Holder to be the next Attorney General of the United States.  In a series of letters released Friday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Judge Louis Freeh, a former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, former Attorney General William Barr, and others, endorse Holder’s long career in public service, and urge his confirmation as the nation’s lead law enforcement officer.

Also on Friday, Leahy released a letter from the National Fraternal Order of Police, an organization of law enforcement officers with more than 325,000 members.  On Thursday, Leahy joined representatives from leading national law enforcement organizations that have endorsed Holder’s nomination in a press conference on Capitol Hill.

In a letter to Leahy and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) dated January 7, Judge Freeh said that Holder “has the highest legal competence, total integrity, leadership, and, most importantly, the political independence to discharge faithfully the immense trust this Nation reposes in its Attorney General.”  Freeh went on to write that he was “honored to give him my very highest personal and professional recommendation.”

“Both Democrats and Republicans support Eric Holder’s nomination,” said Leahy.  “The President-elect needs his national security team in place as quickly as possible.  I hope that no double standard will be applied when the Committee considers Mr. Holder’s nomination next week.  His experience, integrity and independence will him a strong leader of the Department of Justice.”

In a letter sent to Leahy and Specter on Thursday, former Attorney General William Barr joined with nine Republican lawyers and former officials in support of Holder’s nomination.  The letter reads in part, “we note that not only is Eric superbly qualified to be Attorney General, but he is truly a good man.  We urge his rapid confirmation as our next Attorney General of the United States.”

Chuck Canterbury, the President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), in a letter to Leahy and Specter sent Thursday, wrote that the “FOP undertook an exhaustive examination of Mr. Holder’s record of public service…Our review concluded that his positions and actions were consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fraternal Order of Police, and we support his nomination.”

Leahy on Friday also released letters of support from state Attorneys General from 34 states, former Congressman and former U.S. Attorney Bob Barr, and the National Criminal Justice Association

The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Jan. 15, 2009, to consider Holder’s nomination.  Holder, a former Deputy Attorney General, former U.S. Attorney General for the District of Columbian, and a former Reagan-appointed judge for the D.C. Superior Court, has been endorsed by national civil rights groups, law enforcement organizations, and crime victims’ advocates.  Documents and information related to Holder’s nomination are available online.  The hearing, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, will be webcast live on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s website.

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Letters of Support

Law Enforcement

Crime Victims


Civil Rights

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Press Contact

David Carle: 202-224-3693