Friday, September 26, 2014

Eric Holder's Legacy

Eric Holder, this nation's first African-American Attorney General, announced his resignation earlier this week. However, after six years in the position Holder has been able to do a lot of good for the American people. Here are five acts documenting the legacy that Holder leaves behind (in no particular order).

  • During the recent events in Ferguson, MO, Holder served as the point of contact for the federal response, ordered a civil rights investigation into the Ferguson Police Department, and assembled a team of criminal justice researchers to study racial prejudice in law enforcement. 
  • In regards to terrorism, during his time in office Holder waterboarding (an interrogation method that simulates the sensation of drowning) as a form of torture and ordered a full review of current CIA interrogation efforts.
  • In 2011 he declared that the Justice Department would no longer defend the constitutionality of a 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage in an effort to advance progress for gay couples.
  • He also fought heavily against discriminatory voting restrictions that made it difficult for minorities and poorer citizens to vote, demographics that typically vote Democratic. In North Carolina and Texas, two Republican-controlled legistlatures, Holder challenged restrictions such as cutbacks in voting hours and strict voter-ID policies to allow those demographics a better opportunity to cast their ballots.
  • In relation, many of Holder's efforts went towards civil rights and law enforcement. He worked to ease the disproportionately harsh treatment of African-Americans in the criminal justice system saying it isn't just unacceptable; it is shameful.”
Although not everyone may have agreed with his policies or felt that he failed to act on several other issues during his time, this article is simply to focus on the improvements that were made because of his leadership. 

No comments: