1. Race: The import and impact of racial issues in all aspects of the work of the federal Justice Department (both criminal and civil) should not be overlooked, even though war on terror and political issues have dominated modern DOJ and AG discussions. An appointment of the first African-American Attorney General is therefore noteworthy and important for many reasons. And, while many aspire for post-racial dialogues about crime and justice, the interplay between race and justice will be that much more salient when Eric Holder becomes the nation's top cop.
2. Tough: Jeff Rosen wisely notes here that, because Holder "has impeccable credentials as a tough-on-crime prosecutor," he might be uniquely positioned to achieve a "Nixon in China on Crime." While many might be concerned about his past connection to all the tough-on-crime posturing during the Clinton Administration, that very background might give him a unique ability and unique credibility if and when he tries to turn the corner on "tough-on-crime" in an effort to now be "smart-on-crime."
3. Tech: I was pleased to learn during this NPR segment that Holder is, according to a close friend, "a technology junkie." As some of my regular technocorrections blogging helps to highlight, I expect some of the hardest and most unpredictable crime and justice issues on the horizon will involve technology issues. Whatever his policy positions or instincts, the fact that Holder has an affinity and comfort with technology should be a great assert for his new job.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Eric Holder as next Attorney General
This from Sentencing Law and Policy regarding Eric Holder as President-Elect Obama's pick as Attorney General.