Holder was asked by the interviewer, what was your biggest failure as Attorney General? He had so many to choose from! Politicizing the Justice Department, Fast and Furious, stonewalling the House of Representatives, allowing the legalization of marijuana contrary to federal law, failure to enforce the immigration laws, and lots more. But naturally, Holder didn't mention any of those failures.
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The vote was apparently 6-3, with Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan dissenting.
President Obama bowed to the growing Ebola political furor on Friday and named a so-called Ebola czar, though maybe the better label is apparatchik. His man isn't a military general, despite the troops in West Africa, or even someone with so much as nominal expertise in disasters or infectious disease. He's the political operative Ron Klain.
Early voting in Texas begins on Monday, October 20. On Saturday, October 11--just nine days before early voting begins and just 24 days before Election Day--the district court entered a final order striking down Texas's voter identification laws. By this order, the district court enjoined the implementation of Texas Senate Bill 14 ("SB 14") of the 2011 Regular Session, which requires that voters present certain photographic identification at the polls. The district court also ordered that the State of Texas ("State") instead implement the laws that were in force before SB 14's enactment in May of 2011. Based primarily on the extremely fast-approaching election date, we STAY the district court's judgment pending appeal.Lyle Denniston has this post at SCOTUSblog.
President Barack Obama does not plan to announce his choice for attorney general before the November elections, shielding the nomination from the midterm election politics while setting up a potential year-end showdown with the lame duck Senate.Shielding the nomination from politics? My, doesn't that sound noble? Reality is more like shielding the Democratic candidates in close races from having to answer to the people, which is how our representative democracy is supposed to work.
There wouldn't be any need to "shield" if the President were planning to nominate a solid, non-divisive candidate. So this timing tends to indicate that another divisive, partisan nominee who will continue the politicization of the Department of Justice is headed our way.
I [may have] overestimated the President's willingness to act directly and take responsibility for letting Bergdahl off the hook. It now appears more likely that, while I was correct in saying there isn't going to be any honest investigation, there may not be any pardon as such, either. Why should there be? Why should there be, that is, when the President can just believe -- not unintelligently -- that, if dragged out for long enough, the whole thing will disappear into the fog of even more prominent scandals?
The White House is moving more quickly than anticipated to select a new attorney general and is poised to announce President Obama's choice before the Nov. 4 election, with Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez emerging as a leading candidate.Well, maybe we need trash collection experience given all the garbage we have gotten from Mr. Holder, but I seriously doubt Mr. Perez is the man for the job. For those who thought the next AG would have to be an improvement, maybe not.
Many on Capitol Hill expected the president to wait until after the election to avoid making the nominee a campaign issue for embattled Democratic Senate candidates. But people familiar with the administration's planning now say an announcement could come in the next few weeks.
No final decision has been made, they said, but Mr. Perez, 53, a former Justice Department civil rights official and the son of Dominican immigrants, is at the top of the list. His nomination would be applauded by many Hispanic leaders. And he has a compelling personal story, having worked as a trash collector to help put himself through Brown University.* * *Mr. Perez was opposed for the labor post by Republicans, who branded him an ideologue who selectively enforced civil rights laws. But Democrats could push the nomination through in a lame-duck session on a simple majority vote.
My first job after high school was shoveling sand into sandbags at the White Sands Missile Range. Maybe I should apply, given all the sandbagging Mr. Holder has done in response to congressional investigations.
Voter identification laws suffered setbacks in two states on Thursday, with the U.S. Supreme Court blocking Wisconsin from imposing its voter-identification measure during the midterm elections and a federal judge in Texas striking down that state's ID law.
The Supreme Court's action in Wisconsin marked its third recent intervention in a high-profile election case, and the first before the high court in which advocates for minority voters prevailed.
The justices in the two other cases allowed Ohio to cut back on early voting and cleared North Carolina to impose new, tighter voting rules.
The high court in each case effectively put the brakes on lower court rulings that would have prompted late changes in election procedures in the run-up to the Nov. 4 day.
Meanwhile, a U.S. District Judge in Texas said that state's voter ID law amounted to an "unconstitutional poll tax," an outcome the state said it would immediately appeal.
The unfortunate thing about this "avoid late changes" approach is that the timing of an order rather than its merit may determine whether it is in effect for the election. If the Fifth Circuit follows the same pattern, it will stay the District Court's order. It won't matter that much in Texas, where the most important races aren't close. But the Wisconsin governor's race is a tossup, and if the final tally is close enough, the deceased vote could tip the balance.
Update: Text of the order and dissent follows the break.
Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit upheld Wisconsin's voter ID law in Frank v. Walker. Rick Hasen at Election Law Blog is apoplectic. "Regardless of where you stand on the merits of the constitutional and voter id problem, it is unconscionable to roll out voter id without adequate time for everyone who wants to get id to do so."
Roll out? The law was enacted three years ago. It is being "rolled out" now only because it was wrongly enjoined for the three years since it was enacted. Blame the late "roll out" on the plaintiffs and the district judge, if you're upset about it. Should the plaintiffs be able to further delay the implementation of a valid law because they wrongly delayed it this long?
Voter ID is constitutional. It is good policy. Get used to it and quit whining. In modern society everyone should have an ID in any case. If you perceive a genuine problem, then direct your efforts to helping people get IDs. Of course, if the real purpose is to facilitate fraud, then helping real people get valid IDs won't help, now will it?
Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced his resignation on Thursday, leaves a dismal legacy at the Justice Department, but one of his legal innovations was especially pernicious: the demonizing of state attempts to ensure honest elections.
Some Republicans quickly condemned the idea of the Senate considering Mr. Holder's replacement when outgoing lawmakers would still be able to vote on the next attorney general. "Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder's successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced," Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said* * *Some Democrats said it would be a mistake to purposefully delay the process. "It would be irresponsible for anyone to try to delay confirmation of the country's chief law-enforcement officer for political purposes and I would hope responsible members of both parties would cooperate in a thorough hearing and a confirmation vote," said Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.)
Barrett notes, "One question is whether the Senate, scheduled to return on Nov. 12, would have enough time to confirm a high-ranking cabinet official before the congressional session ends."
A confirmation hearing in the next Congress, with Chuck Grassley in the chair, could be quite informative. One can hope.
In New Mexico, incumbent Governor Susana Martinez has opened up a commanding 18% lead over Attorney General Gary King in an Albuquerque Journal poll. Real Clear Politics has moved this race into the "Likely GOP" column. A commanding win in a "blue" state would make Martinez, a former district attorney, a credible possibility for the 2016 national ticket.
In Colorado, the Denver Post has the race too close to call. RCP calls it a toss-up. Unlike Kitzhaber, Hickenlooper may pay a political price for his death penalty weaseling. The Post says "only" 18% consider that a "major factor" in their decision, but 18% is a lot in a tight race. Of course, it depends on how many of those 18% are swing voters as opposed to people who would vote for the proverbial yellow dog before Hickenlooper, but given the across-the-political board support for the death penalty we often see in "crosstabs," with even self-designated "liberals" split about even, I have to think at least a couple percent of those 18 are people who might have otherwise voted for Hickenlooper.