In Defense Of Eric Holder

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The extremists in Congress threatening to file a contempt of Congress citation are the same members who led the movement to pass legislation that would prohibit the U.S. DOJ from going to court to protect our right to vote

[Op-Ed]

Since taking office as United States Attorney General in 2009, Eric Holder has successfully restored the integrity of the U.S. Department of Justice. He has revitalized the Civil Rights Division, fought governors seeking to block millions of Americans from voting and worked to advance and protect the promise of America for all.

Sadly, extreme elements within the U.S. House are threatening to issue and vote on a contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Holder. They say he has not been forthcoming with information about the botched "Fast and Furious" illegal arms trafficking program.

The NAACP supports accountability and transparency at every level. However, this crusade in Congress reeks of partisan politics. All signs indicate the AG is complying with Congress on the "Fast and Furious" program. He has supplied Congress with thousands of pages of documents about the program and testified on the issue eight times in the past eighteen months.

Threatening to hold a sitting US Attorney General in contempt of Congress has serious consequences -- in addition to being a criminal conviction, the citation carries up to 12 months in prison. These unwarranted attacks on the AG are nothing more than attempts to distract and prevent him from continuing to enforce the nation's civil and voting rights laws.

The extremists in Congress threatening to file a contempt of Congress citation are the same members who led the movement to pass legislation that would prohibit the U.S. DOJ from going to court to protect our right to vote, stop state-sponsored racial profiling by law enforcement, defend gains made in comprehensive healthcare coverage or enforce an EEOC directive to help ex-offenders gain employment.

It is a dangerous, destructive and distractive political ploy that must end now.

Tell your member of Congress  to reject these extreme tactics of mass distraction and division by opposing the circulation of a contempt of Congress citation.

With voting rights under siege across the country and our democracy's ability to function properly hanging in the balance, we can ill afford for our nation's top law enforcement officers to be besieged by partisan misfits. We will not allow a partisan persecution to continue under the guise of a civic-minded prosecution.

In the moment when Attorney General Holder is defending our democracy against the greatest wave of voter suppression laws in more than a century, none of us can afford for those who would further divide our nation to further distract.

Stand for justice. Tell your representative to reject this threat to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress

Hilary O. Shelton is Director, Washington Bureau
NAACP


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