By: Hans von Spakovsky for FOXNews.com:
Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement Thursday that he is resigning, effective when his successor is confirmed, is welcome news.
As John Fund and I outline in our recent book, “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department,” every time President Obama has broken, bent, ignored or changed the law, the person at his side advising him how to do it has been Eric Holder.
Mr. Holder is also responsible for spearheading an unprecedented politicization of the Justice Department, which should be of great concern to anyone who cares about the rule of law and the impartial administration of justice.
Every time President Obama has broken, bent, ignored or changed the law, the person at his side advising him how to do it has been Eric Holder.
Why care about who runs the U.S. Justice Department? It matters because Justice is one of the most powerful executive branch agencies in the federal government. It has enormous discretionary power to pursue people accused of breaking the law and to exert major influence over social, economic and national security policies by the enforcement (or non-enforcement) choices made by its top officer.
Justice requires someone who understands that, while the attorney general is a political appointee, he (or she) has a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and enforce the law in an objective, non-political manner. For the most part, Eric Holder failed in the execution of that duty.
Mr. Holder is the first attorney general in history to be held in contempt by the House of Representatives. He earned this dubious distinction by refusing to turn over documents related to what may be the most reckless law enforcement operation ever undertaken by the Justice Department: Operation Fast and Furious.
During his tenure, the Justice Department launched more investigations and prosecutions of leaks than all prior attorneys general combined, while studiously ignoring high-level “friendly leaks” by White House officials designed to make the president look tough in the fight against terrorism.
Hans A. von Spakovsky is a former Justice Department official. He is the co-author, with John Fund of "Obama's Enforcer: Eric Holder's Justice Department" (Broadside/HarperCollins 2014). He is Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow at the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation.