September 25, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: dcmedia@aclu.org  

 

WASHINGTON – President Obama is expected to announce the resignation of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., later today.

The following comment can be attributed to ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero:

“We have worked especially close with Attorney General Holder in the past several years and he’s proven his dedication by being a champion of the Voting Rights Act; suing more police departments for the use of excessive force and racial profiling than any other attorney general; leading the fight to help end mass incarceration; and making other criminal justice reforms, including providing federal guidance to help end the school to prison pipeline, working for indigent defense, advocating for clemency for those incarcerated for nonviolent offenses and working for the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act and the Smarter Sentencing Act.  His legacy in these areas we are thankful for.

In addition to those significant advances, he’s helped make strides to move LGBT equality forward, including the historic decision to no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, and enacting a series of rule changes so that federal benefits do not discriminate against same sex couples.

However, we’ve had profound disagreements with the Attorney General on national security issues.  During his tenure, DOJ approved the drone killing of an American far away from any battlefield, approved the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, failed to prosecute any of the Bush administration torturers, and presided over more leak prosecutions than all previous Justice Departments combined. We acknowledge, nonetheless, that he fought, albeit unsuccessfully, to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in federal criminal courts rather than in flawed military commissions.

Our hope is that his successor will take his baton and continue to focus on reforms that will positively affect the lives of millions, and also seriously address issues that have yet to receive adequate attention such as the closing of Guantanamo Bay detention camp.”

 

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