Skip to comments.Will Eric Holder “regret” his time as AG?
Posted on 09/28/2014 5:09:49 PM PDT by Kaslin
John Yoo (of Bush 43 administration fame) has penned a rather counterintuitive editorial this weekend on the future of outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. In it, he begins by building a laundry list of complaints about some of the worst moments of Holder’s tenure as AG. (There’s really no need to repeat them here, as regular readers are already far too familiar with the subjects in question.) But after that, he switches to the subject of Holder’s failure to hold, in general terms, to his constitutional duties.
But worst of all was not Holders political or prosecution choices, but his refusal to obey the Constitution. The AG is the nations law enforcement officer, second only to the president. His most important and unique job is to interpret and enforce the Constitution for the executive branch. On Holders watch, the Obama administration has refused to carry out the laws, as required by the Constitutions Take Care Clause, in areas ranging from Obamacare to immigration to welfare. The only exception to the presidents duty to carry out the Acts of Congress is if the laws themselves are unconstitutional and hence violate the higher law. But in all of these cases, the Obama administration knew that these laws raised no constitutional problems it merely disagreed with the policies, even with laws that it supported during enactment.
Fair enough. But that brings Yoo to the premise of his column, which is to say that Holder will “regret” these actions. How exactly would that work?
Holder and his supporters, who know these decisions violate the Constitution but kept silent because of their partisan support for Obama, will rue their abuse of presidential power. Future presidents will be able to change tax rates or refuse to prosecute political supporters under these theories. Future conservative presidents may use the same claim to start dismantling the overgrown welfare state without the assent of Congress. We happily see Holder go, but he will have more regret not just looking back at the controversies that wracked the Department of Justice under his care, but when he ponders the future when conservative AGs turn his precedents against the bloated welfare state that he loves.
When I first looked at this article, I thought perhaps that Yoo was implying Holder either already knew of the shortcomings in his performance, or would realize them in the fullness of time and come to feel some remorse. Were that the case, I would have to disagree. I believe that Holder went into this job with eyes wide open and charted his course to accomplish the goals that he and Barack Obama had set out. When conditions arose which required him to deviate significantly from his role as Lawyer of the People he did so without hesitation, and I honestly doubt that he will ever regret that.
But to Yoo’s actual point, I suppose it’s possible. I would like to think that future AGs (of either party) would learn from this negative example and steer a straighter course. But history doesn’t make me hopeful. When past presidents have seized increasing amounts of executive power, those who followed did not recoil in shame… they continued the expansion. And if Holder sails off into the sunset with no accounting for his actions, the AG office will sadly continue to morph into more and more of a political tool for the party controlling the White House. Even if that doesn’t cause any regret for Eric Holder, it should bring some sadness for the rest of us.
He may not but I do.
Do you think a jackal regrets acting like a jackal?
I hope he many years to reflect as he sits in a cell at Pelican Bay.
I’m sure he regrets his time as an American.
Heck no! At most he will regret losing its power and protection.
Hopefully, he does regret it—from inside a jail cell.
He has been escaping justice for over 40 years.
I’m hopeful once the dam breaks on F&F, Terry’s family and many Mexican families will pursue him to his grave with law suits for wrongful death; and that he will face them as a private citizen with no hope that the U.S. government will defend him.
The first time a republican tries that the media, instantly converted into fierce guardians of each letter of the Constitution, will suddenly be flush with 'sky is falling' legal experts telling us the end is nigh.
Only if he is made to, so no.
Yes, if he is wearing orange.
I have a terrible feeling Holder wants a US Supreme Court appointment. All part of Obamas plan!!
Hopefully as he grows old in prison.
Did Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin or Pol Pot ever express regret?
There ya go.
“The first time a republican tries that the media, instantly converted into fierce guardians of each letter of the Constitution, will suddenly be flush with ‘sky is falling’ legal experts telling us the end is nigh.”
Which is why the Republicans should do it.
If Holder did it, Obama did it and Clinton did it then they can complain all they want.
The demonrats do these things because they think they can get away with them. They don’t expect the Republicans to reciprocate.
But at this point there is almost no other way. The US needs a conservative president who rules by decree for one term. I hate to say that or even think it.
He has to face Judgement as we all do. If he’s not sorrowful now, he will be.
He was just doing his Master’s bidding...
Yeah, not as much as we have.
If one side is allowed to break the rules while the other held to follow them there can be no contest.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.