|82nd United States Attorney General|
February 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Michael Mukasey|
|Deputy Attorney General of the United States|
June 13, 1997 – January 20, 2001
|Preceded by||Jamie Gorelick|
|Succeeded by||Larry Thompson|
|Born||Eric Himpton Holder, Jr.
January 21, 1951
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Columbia University (BA, JD)|
Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. (born January 21, 1951) is the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, in office since 2009. Holder, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama, is the first African American to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General. During the Fast and Furious investigation, he became the only cabinet member in US history to be held in contempt of Congress.
Holder previously served as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and a United States Attorney. While in that position, he prosecuted Congressman Dan Rostenkowski (Democrat, Illinois) for corruption charges related to his role in the Congressional Post Office scandal. Later, he was Deputy Attorney General of the United States and worked at the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. He was senior legal advisor to Senator Barack Obama during Obama's presidential campaign and one of three members of Obama's vice-presidential selection committee.
Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. was born in the Bronx, New York, to parents with roots in Barbados.[dead link] Holder's father, Eric Himpton Holder, Sr. (1905–1970) was born in Saint Joseph, Barbados and arrived in the United States at the age of 11. He later became a real estate broker. His mother, Miriam, was born in New Jersey, while his maternal grandparents were immigrants from Saint Philip, Barbados. Holder grew up in East Elmhurst, Queens, and attended public school until the age of 10. When entering the 4th grade he was selected to participate in a program for intellectually gifted students. In 1969, he graduated from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan and attended Columbia University, where he played freshman basketball and was co-captain of his team. He earned an B.A. Hons. degree in American History in 1973. Holder received his Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School, graduating in 1976. He worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund during his first summer and the United States Attorney during his second summer.
After graduating from law school, Holder joined the U.S. Justice Department's new Public Integrity Section during an interval lasting from 1976 to 1988. During his time there, he assisted in the prosecution of Democratic Congressman John Jenrette for bribery discovered in the Abscam sting operation. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan appointed Holder to serve as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Holder stepped down from the bench in 1993 to accept an appointment as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia from President Bill Clinton. He was the first black American U.S. Attorney in that office. At the beginning of his tenure, he oversaw the conclusion of the corruption case against Dan Rostenkowski, part of the Congressional Post Office scandal. He was a U.S. Attorney until his elevation to Deputy Attorney General in 1997. Holder also served on The George Washington University's Board of Trustees in 1996 and 1997.
Deputy Attorney General
In 1997, after the retirement of Jamie Gorelick, Clinton nominated Holder to be the Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno. Holder was confirmed several months later in the Senate by a unanimous vote. During his confirmation hearing, Holder's opposition to the death penalty was questioned, but he pledged his intention to cooperate with the current laws and Reno, saying, "I am not a proponent of the death penalty, but I will enforce the law as this Congress gives it to us." Holder was the first African-American to serve in that position.
As Deputy Attorney General, Holder's primary responsibilities were in the areas of budget and personnel issues; this also included resolving disputes among department heads and briefing reporters on policy initiatives, national security issue, and major investigations, including the FBI investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Holder later advised Reno in the matters regarding the Independent Counsel statute. Reno made the decision to permit Kenneth Starr to expand his investigation into the Lewinsky affair, leading to Clinton's impeachment.
In the wake of the murders of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Holder was a vocal proponent of new hate crimes laws in the United States. Holder said that the current laws placed major constraints on the ability of federal investigators and prosecutors to assist in these types of cases.
In his final days with the Clinton administration, Holder carried out his duties with Clinton's last-minute pardon of fugitive and Democratic contributor Marc Rich. Regarding discussions with the White House lawyers on the issue, Holder said he was at first "neutral" on the decision to grant Rich a pardon, but might lean in favor of it if there were national security benefits. Holder said that he was told that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak had asked Clinton to grant the pardon. Holder said that, at the time, he did not give the case much thought, because he did not think the pardon would be granted, as no fugitive had ever previously been granted a presidential pardon. He later said he wished that he had looked into it more thoroughly, and expressed regret over the incident. "I wish that I had ensured that the Department of Justice was more fully informed and involved in this pardon process", he said admitting the mistake.
Republicans on the House Government Reform Committee disagreed with Holder's version and alleged that he was a knowing participant, according to a 2003 report. They said Holder failed to fully inform prosecutors of the pending pardon, and they criticized his "neutral leaning favorable" opinion to Clinton.
Former FBI director, Louis Freeh, commented on the matter in 2009, saying that the Clinton White House had "used" Holder and kept both the FBI and the DOJ in the dark as to their full activities around the last minute pardons.
From 2001 until he became Attorney General, Holder worked as an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., representing clients such as Merck and the National Football League. He represented the NFL during its dog fighting investigation against Michael Vick.
In 2004, Holder helped negotiate an agreement with the Justice Department for Chiquita Brands International in a case that involved Chiquita's payment of "protection money" to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a group on the U.S. government's list of terrorist organizations. In the agreement, Chiquita's officials pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $25 million. Holder represented Chiquita in the civil action that grew out of this criminal case. In March 2004, Holder and Covington & Burling were hired by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to act as a special investigator to the Illinois Gaming Board. The investigation was subsequently canceled on May 18, 2004.
The firm represented Guantanamo inmates but Holder "never participated directly in the firm's Guantanamo work", and is not expected to recuse himself from matters pertaining to it.
While D.C. v. Heller was being heard by the Supreme Court in 2008, Holder joined the Reno-led amicus brief, which urged the Supreme Court to uphold Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and said the position of the Department of Justice, from Franklin Roosevelt through Clinton, was that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms for purposes unrelated to a State’s operation of a well-regulated militia. Holder said that overturning the 1976 law "opens the door to more people having more access to guns and putting guns on the streets."
Attorney General of the United States
On December 1, 2008, Obama announced that Holder would be his nominee for Attorney General of the United States. Obama praised his "toughness and independence." Obama went on to say that "[Holder] is deeply familiar with the law enforcement challenges we face: from terrorism to counter-intelligence; from white-collar crime to public corruption." Holder emphasized national security as a priority if confirmed, "We can and we must ensure that the American people remain secure and that the great Constitutional guarantees that define us as a nation are truly valued."
He was formally nominated on January 20, 2009 and was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 28 with a bipartisan vote of 17 to 2. He was officially confirmed by the entire Senate on February 2, 2009 by a vote of 75 to 21. becoming the nation's first African-American Attorney General. His installation took place on March 27, 2009 at the Lisner Auditorium of George Washington University. As of May 2013, Holder has the ninth longest tenure of any Attorney General in U.S. history.
War on Terrorism
As Attorney General, Holder has been a staunch defender of the President's legal right to prosecute the War on Terror. In May 2011, Holder testified before Congress on the legality of the operation where US special forces killed Osama Bin Laden earlier that month. Holder testified that the operation to kill Bin Laden was legal, stating that international law allows for targeting enemy commanders. To support this point, Holder said that computer evidence seized from the raid demonstrated that Bin Laden was still leading al-Qaeda. Moreover, Holder said, the Navy Seals conducted themselves in a manner consistent with American values, and that the parameters of the mission included capturing Bin Laden.
Holder defended the legality of drone strikes against terrorists. Addressing the death of Anwar al-Aulaqi, an American citizen who was an alleged leader of and recruiter for al-Qaeda operating in Yemen, Holder said "The U.S. government's use of lethal force in self defense against a leader of al-Qaeda or an associated force who presents an imminent threat of violent attack would not be unlawful." He outlined a three-part test to affirm the legality of the strikes: the terrorist poses an imminent threat of violence to the United States, capture is not possible and the operation is conducted in a manner consistent with the principles of the law of war.
In April 2011, Holder announced that accused September 11 attack conspirators Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi would be tried by military commissions. This decision was a reversal from Holder's position in 2009, when he had previously stated that he would bring the suspects to New York for trial. Holder said that the he believed the trials could have been held in New York or Virginia, but that Congress imposed restrictions on where the trial could be held, removing the decision from him.
In July 2010, Holder flew to Kampala, Uganda, to address the Heads of State Summit of the African Union, where he discussed the Obama Administration's priorities with regards to Africa and the terrorist bombings in Kampala during the World Cup. Holder vowed to work closer with officials in the African Union to stop terrorism, and he announced that the FBI would be providing a team of forensic specialists to help gather information about the attack, in the hopes of capturing the terrorists.
Voting Rights and Redistricting
Holder is a staunch proponent of defending the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was reauthorized in 2006 with bipartisan support. Holder has criticized new Voter ID laws in Texas, Florida and other states, which he suggests may be politically motivated. In 2011, Holder said, "The reality is that in jurisdictions across the country, both overt and subtle forms of discrimination remain all too common." He went on to criticize Texas redistricting efforts, where the state had increased its population by four million people, most of whom are Latino, but the state had not allocated any new Congressional seats to represent Hispanic voters.
Under Holder's tenure, the DOJ successfully sued Shelby County, Alabama, for a violation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The small town of Calera had re-drawn the city council districts without receiving pre-clearance from the DOJ, which is required by Section 5 in order to ensure that Southern states do not use such tactics to weaken political representation for minority communities. For local elections, Calera had divided the African-American part of town, submerging it into two other districts, and eliminating the city's sole African-American councilman. Calera responded by arguing that the process of pre-clearance with the DOJ should no longer be required. On September 21, 2011, the federal district court upheld the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, but the decision is being appealed and may likely be decided by the US Supreme Court.
In May 2012, with over a dozen states pushing new voter identification laws, Holder stated that he believed these new laws would hamper the ability of the elderly, students and minorities to vote. Regarding voting rights, he said, "for the first time in our [lifetimes], we are failing to live up to one of our most noble ideals.” Holder pledged that the DOJ would act "aggressively" in fighting these new laws. He went on to say that “We have to honor the generations that took extraordinary risks” to achieve the right to vote. .
In a speech before the NAACP in July 2012, Holder went on to say that the Texas voter ID laws were a "political pretext to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right." Holder compared the practices of these states to those in the era of Jim Crow segregation. Holder said, “Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them — and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them. We call those poll taxes.”.
In April 2013, Holder vowed to continue to enforce federal voting rights laws within the scope of his power, regardless of how the United States Supreme Court decided in the pending case regarding voting rights.
Arizona SB 1070
In May 2010, Holder expressed concerns over reports he had received regarding "Arizona’s tough new immigration law". He said that he feared that the law might "lead to racial profiling". Holder received criticism on the political right for criticizing the law before he had read it in its entirety.
However, in July 2010, after the DOJ reviewed the law, Holder filed suit against Arizona on the grounds that the state law is preempted by federal law. Holder was quoted as saying, "I understand, first off, the frustration of the people of Arizona and the concerns that they have with regard to the amount of illegal immigration that occurs, but the solution that the Arizona legislature came up with is inconsistent with our federal Constitution."
The controversial law was litigated before the US Supreme Court, and in June 2012, the majority of provisions were struck down. Holder said that although he was pleased that much of the law had been struck down, he remained concerned over the burden it might place on local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law and the possibility that it might be used to discriminate against the Latino community. He vowed to continue to monitor the impact of the law.
Holder has also stated that he supports comprehensive immigration reform, adding that it is a "matter of civil rights and human rights."
In February 2011, Holder announced that the DOJ would no longer defend cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Holder had recommended this course of action to the President, arguing that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, as laws that prohibit the marriage of gay couples do not meet the legal principle of strict scrutiny. Holder cited changing law in support of his action: "Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional." This decision was prompted by legal deadlines in two federal cases in Connecticut and New York, where same-sex married couples argued that DOMA’s ban on federal benefits to those in gay marriages approved by the individual states, violates the Constitution’s requirement of equal treatment.
In February 2012, Holder reaffirmed his position and stated that the DOJ would not defend DOMA in a legal challenge brought by members of the US military, who were seeking benefits for their same-sex spouses, including: medical insurance, visitation rights in military hospitals and survivor benefits.
Holder has also advocated for the interests of the 36,000 same-sex partnerships where Americans are in relationships with non-US citizens. In May 2011, Holder set aside the decision to deport Paul Dorman, an Irish man who was in a same-sex partnership with a New Jersey citizen. Holder then asked immigration officials to reconsider their decision in order to determine whether Dorman can be considered a spouse under New Jersey law and whether Dorman would be considered a spouse under immigration law were it not for the Defense of Marriage Act. This action prompted some other immigration judges to halt the deportation proceeds of other foreigners in same-sex couples.
Crime and Prosecutions
In 2009, Holder announced and oversaw the federal government spending of $1 billion in grants to law enforcement agencies in every state to pay for the hiring of police officers. The money comes from the stimulus bill the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and covered the salaries of 4,699 law enforcement officers for three years. 
On April 1, 2009, Holder announced that he had ordered the dismissal of the indictment against former Senator Ted Stevens on corruption charges. Stevens had been found guilty, but hadn't been sentenced; Holder's action effectively vacated Stevens' conviction. Holder was reportedly very angry that the prosecutors had withheld potentially exculpatory evidence from Stevens' attorneys. After the prosecutors had been held in contempt of court for failing to turn over required documents, Holder replaced the entire trial team. Soon afterward, the Justice Department discovered a previously undocumented interview with Bill Allen, the prosecution's star witness. In this interview, Allen gave statements that directly contradicted his testimony at trial, including a claim that he'd been asked to get a note for a repair bill on his house. By nearly all accounts, Holder wanted to send a message that he would not tolerate any behavior he deemed to be prosecutorial misconduct.
In 2010, in the run up to the referendum on California Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana use for personal recreation, Holder stated that the DOJ would continue to prosecute individuals on the federal level for possession of marijuana even if voters approved a ballot measure.
Under Holder's leadership, the Department of Justice has brought six leak-related prosections against current or former U.S. government employees, while all previous Presidential administrations combined had tried a total of three such cases. Holder was reportedly "surprised" by news reports pointing out this statistic, and was said to have told associates he did not wish leak prosecutions to be his legacy. Several prominent leak prosecutions under Holder have involved communications between criminal defendants and journalists, and the pervasive use of traceable electronic communications between journalists and their sources provided the prosecution with a tool to determine the potential origin of published information. Under Holder, the Justice Department has legally argued that journalists have no legal protection to maintain the confidentiality of their sources, and can be compelled by the government to reveal them, or potentially face criminal contempt charges.
When questioned about weapons regulations during a news conference to announce the arrest of Mexican drug cartel members, Holder stated that the Obama administration would seek to re-institute the expired Assault Weapons Ban, which he strongly supports.
After the U.S. government filed suit against the Swiss bank UBS AG, whom Holder had represented during his time in private practice, the attorney general recused himself from all legal matters concerning the bank, which stands accused of conspiracy in U.S. tax fraud.
Holder presented friend and predecessor Janet Reno, Attorney General under the Clinton Administration, the American Judicature Society's (AJS) Justice Award on April 17, 2009. The award is the highest given by the AJS, and recognizes significant contributions toward improvements in the administration of justice within the United States.
After the United States diplomatic cables leak in December 2010, Holder said that "We have an active, ongoing, criminal investigation with regard to this matter," Holder said. "We are not in a position as yet to announce the result of that investigation, but the investigation is--is ongoing. To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law and who has put at risk the assets and the people that I have described, they will be held responsible," Holder said. "They will be held accountable." Holder's comments leave open a crucial question, which is whether the investigators are looking at how WikiLeaks obtained the documents (not unlike probing a news organization's source), or if they're looking at whether WikiLeaks staffers violated criminal law and should be the ones indicted.
In March 2011 Holder left open the possibility that the Guantánamo Bay terrorist prison camp might live on beyond President Obama’s first term. Asked in a congressional hearing whether the prison would be closed by November 2012, Holder said: "I don’t know". He said the Justice Department has established a task force to look at each of the 172 detainees being held at the Guantánamo prison to address how they should be dealt with. Holder’s comments come just weeks after CIA Director Leon Panetta told a Senate panel that Osama bin Laden would probably be shipped to and held at the Guantánamo Bay facility if he were captured.
Opinion of Bush Policies
||This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (March 2013)|
During his confirmation hearings, Holder agreed with Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, that a technique used by U.S. interrogators under the Bush administration known as waterboarding is torture. Consequently, Senate Republicans delayed the confirmation vote on Holder though Senate Democrats accused them of applying a double standard. He has been critical of Enhanced interrogation techniques and the NSA warrantless surveillance program, accusing the Bush administration of a "disrespect for the rule of law... [that is] not only wrong, it is destructive in our struggle against terrorism."
Holder gave a speech on race relations on February 18, 2009, in the midst of Black History Month. "Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we average Americans simply do not talk enough with each other about race," he said. The speech stirred mild controversy, with some reacting favorably to Holder's comments and others sharply criticizing them. Obama later clarified Holder's comments, saying that “I think it’s fair to say that if I had been advising my attorney general, we would have used different language.... I think the point that he was making is that we’re oftentimes uncomfortable with talking about race until there’s some sort of racial flare-up or conflict, and that we could probably be more constructive in facing up to the painful legacy of slavery and Jim Crow and discrimination."
New Black Panther Party voter intimidation incident
In May 2009, Holder's Department of Justice completed a civil suit originally brought by J. Christian Adams of the Bush Justice Department against the New Black Panther Party, its chairman, and two of its members for voter intimidation due to their conduct during the 2008 election. Two members of the Party had stood outside a polling station during the election in paramilitary uniforms, one carrying a nightstick. Due to lack of evidence, the Department of Justice dropped the charges against the party, its chairman, and one of the two members who had stood outside the polling station. With the evidence presented, the Department of Justice successfully obtained a narrow injunction against the other. Former lawyers who had served under the Bush Administration have stated that is unwilling to prosecute minorities for civil rights violations.
During a meeting with a House subcommittee, Holder argued that the behavior (standing in a menacing way) of the New Black Panther Party was not comparable to historical voter intimidation against minorities, which often involved acts of violence and murder. Holder said, "When you compare what people endured in the South in the ’60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia… I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people."
Critics have interpreted this comment as evidence of racial bias on Holder's part, with conservative James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal arguing "If he approaches the job with the attitude that any group smaller than all Americans is 'my people,' he is the wrong man for the position." Saying the issue was politicized from the start, Democrats have argued that those on the political right, particularly Adams, used this incident for purely political gain.
Operation Fast and Furious
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley sent Holder a letter in May 2011 asking for details about Operation Fast and Furious, a botched federal firearms sting operation that allowed weapons to reach Mexican drug gangs. Grassley and Issa "urged Holder to cooperate and turn over subpoenaed records that would reveal the scope of the government coverup." 
Contempt of Congress
In October 2011, 7,600 pages of documents were released that Issa believes may have indicated Holder was sent memos in regard to Operation Fast and Furious earlier than he at first claimed, contradicting Holder's sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in which he said he only recently became aware of Operation Fast and Furious in the first half of 2011. In April 2012, Issa announced that his committee was drafting a Contempt of Congress resolution against Holder in response to the committee being "stonewalled by the Justice Department." On June 19, 2012, Issa met with Holder in person to discuss the requested documents. Holder said he offered to provide the documents to Issa on the condition that Issa provided his assurance that doing so would satisfy the committee subpoenas and resolve the dispute. Issa rejected the offer. Holder then told reporters "They rejected what I thought was an extraordinary offer on our part."  On June 20, 2012, the Oversight Committee voted 23-17 along party lines to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for not releasing documents the committee had requested. A memo from Holder's office said of the vote: "It's an election-year tactic intended to distract attention."
Although this vote was not directly relevant to gun legislation, the National Rifle Association announced that they would be scoring the contempt vote, due to Holder's previous stances on gun control legislation, placing political pressure on Democrats that wished to avoid repercussions from the gun lobby. On June 28, 2012, Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives in a 255-67 vote, with 17 Democrats voting for the measure, 2 Republicans voting against the measure. The remaining Democrats refused to vote and marched out of the House, led by Nancy Pelosi, as a means of protesting the actions of Republicans. Holder responded to the vote, describing it as "the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided and politically motivated investigation in an election year."
Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry then called on Holder to resign, stating "America simply cannot tolerate an attorney general who arms the very criminals he is supposed to protect us from". Sen. John Cornyn, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security also called for Holder to resign. Holder was defended by Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. Cummings said, “Holder has acted honorably; he’s done everything he could to allow us to do our job, which is to investigate this matter.”
In September 2012, after a nineteen month review, the Justice Department's Inspector General cleared the Attorney General of wrongdoing, stating that there was "no evidence" that Holder knew about Fast and Furious before early 2011. The report did cite fourteen lower ranking officials for possible disciplinary action. Holder responded to the internal investigation, saying "It is unfortunate that some were so quick to make baseless accusations before they possessed the facts about these operations -- accusations that turned out to be without foundation and that have caused a great deal of unnecessary harm and confusion."
Inability to prosecute financial institutions
On March 6, 2013, Holder testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that the size of large financial institutions has made it difficult for the Justice Department to bring criminal charges when they are suspected of crimes, because such charges can threaten the existence of a bank and therefore their interconnectedness may endanger the national or global economy. "Some of these institutions have become too large,” Holder told the Committee, “It has an inhibiting impact on our ability to bring resolutions that I think would be more appropriate."
In a January 29, 2013 letter to Holder, Senators Sherrod Brown and Charles Grassley had criticized this Justice Department policy citing "important questions about the Justice Department’s prosecutorial philosophy." After receipt of a DoJ response letter, Brown and Grassley issued a statement saying, "The Justice Department’s response is aggressively evasive. It does not answer our questions. We want to know how and why the Justice Department has determined that certain financial institutions are ‘too big to jail’ and that prosecuting those institutions would damage the financial system."
Holder has financial ties to at least one law firm benefiting from de facto immunity to prosecution. Prosecution rates against crimes by large financial institutions are at 20-year lows.
The Associated Press has claimed that the U.S. Department of Justice has secretly acquired months of phone records of its reporters and editors. On May 13, 2013 the president and CEO of the AP, Gary B. Pruitt, sent a letter to Attorney General Holder addressing his concern over this probe. The Attorney General has ordered an investigation into the matter by directing the Justice Department and FBI to coordinate the investigation.
Holder is married to Dr. Sharon Malone, an obstetrician; the couple has three children. Malone's sister was Vivian Malone Jones, famous for her part in the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door which led to integration at the University of Alabama. Holder has been involved with various mentoring programs for inner-city youths. He is also an avid basketball fan, and the uncle of former NBA All-Star Jeff Malone.
In May 2008, while still in private practice, Legal Times magazine named Eric Holder as one of the “Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Past 30 Years," describing Holder as one of the "Visionaries."  Also in that year, Holder was named by the National Law Journal as one of “the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America.” The National Law Journal commended Holder's practice in the areas of civil litigation and white-collar defense, as well as his work as a national co-chair for Obama's campaign.
In June 2009 the Government of Barbados announced that it would begin a project to determine the first 100 Great Barbadians which would be selected among the public of Barbados. At the announcement of the project it was announced that Eric Holder was the first candidate to be nominated toward the final list.
On May 16, 2010, Eric Holder delivered the commencement address at Boston University, for both the All-University Ceremony and the School of Law. In addition, he was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. On May 22, 2011, Holder delivered the commencement address at the University of Virginia School of Law. Holder encouraged the graduates to emulate Virginia Law alumnus Robert F. Kennedy's legacy of service. On May 19, 2009, Holder was chosen by his alma mater, Columbia College, to be its Class Day Speaker.
In May 2012, Holder delivered the commencement address at Harvard Law School. He encouraged them to continue to engage in public service and that they should use their skills to shape the future of the nation.
- Johnson, Carrie (Tuesday, February 3, 2009). "Holder Confirmed As the First Black Attorney General: Nominee Overcame Objections in GOP". The Washington Post. pp. Page A02. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
- Johnston, David (November 11, 2008). "Eric H. Holder, Jr." (Series). The New Team (The New York Times). Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- Best, Tony (November 16, 2008). "Obama's AG may be Bajan". Local News (Barbados: Nation Newspaper). Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- Johnston, David (November 12, 2008). "Eric H. Holder Jr.". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
- "Social Security Death Index [database on-line]". United States: The Generations Network. Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- Best, Tony (June 8, 2008). "Obama getting help from Bajan son". Local News (Barbados: Nation Newspaper). Retrieved November 11, 2008.
- Longstreth, Andrew (June 2008). "Making History With Obama" (Cover Story). Making History. The American Lawyer. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- Tucker-Hamilton, Racine; Hickey, Matthew (December 17, 2004). "Interview with Eric H. Holder, Jr." (Interview). Oral history project (The History Makers). Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- Lewis, Neil A. (June 2, 1994). "Indictment of a Congressman: the Legal Case; Prosecutor No Stranger To Corruption in Politics" (Article). U.S. (The New York Times). Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- Memmott, A. James (June 5, 2008). "Obama picks Caroline Kennedy, Holder, Johnson to lead Vice-Presidential candidate search". Muckety. Retrieved June 29, 2008.
- "Nominee Confirmed For Deputy Position At the Justice Dept.". Archives (The New York Times). July 18, 1997. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- Lewis, Neil A. (June 14, 1997). "Justice Dept. Nominee Faces Questions but No Strong Opposition" (Article). U.S. (The New York Times). Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- "Federal Probe of Salt Lake Olympic Bid Pretty Wide". CNN. February 18, 1999.
- "Hate Crimes Legislation Introduced in Congress". CNN. March 12, 1999.
- "Holder Faces Grilling on Marc Rich Pardon". CNN. February 8, 2001.
- Yost, Pete (November 19, 2008). "Marc Rich pardon controversy just won't die" (Article). Google News. Associated Press. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
- Cowan, Alison Leigh (March 13, 2002). "Marc Rich Panel Says Top Justice Dept. Aide Held Information on Rich's Pardon" (Article). U.S. (The New York Times). Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- "Former FBI Director: Holder was "used" in Rich Pardon". CNN.
- "Ashcroft Settles In". Politics (CBS News). February 2, 2001. Retrieved June 29, 2008.
- Hook, Carol S. (November 19, 2008). "10 Things You Didn’t Know About Eric Holder" (Article). Nation & World: Politics. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
- Leonnig, Carol D. (August 2, 2007). "In Terrorism-Law Case, Chiquita Points to U.S.". Politics: Bush Administration (The Washington Post). p. A01. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
- Gray, Kevin (October 2007). "The Banana War". International News. Condé Nast Portfolio. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
- Fusco, Chris (December 17, 2008). "Holder omitted Blagojevich link from questionnaire" (Article). Metro (The Chicago Sun-Times). Retrieved December 17. 2008.
- Joe Palazzolo Some Justice Department Lawyers Have Gitmo Conflicts March 2, 2009 Legal Times
- "Brief for Former Department of Justice Officials as Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioners". American Bar Association.
- Nakamura, David; Barnes, Robert (March 10, 2007). "D.C.'s Ban On Handguns In Homes Is Thrown Out" (Article). Metro: Special Reports (The Washington Post). p. A01. Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- change.gov (December 1, 2008). "Key members of Obama-Biden national security team announced" (Press release). Newsroom. Office of the President-elect. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- Rhee, Foon (December 1, 2008). "Obama names national security team" (Article). News (Boston Globe). Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "Obama Nominates Eric Holder as Nation's Top Law Enforcement Official". PBS. December 1, 2008.
- Presidential Nomination PN64-07-111, 111th Congress, January 20, 2009
- Judiciary Panel Approves Holder’s Nomination, New York Times, January 28, 2009,
- "Holder Is Confirmed as Attorney General". The New York Times. February 2, 2002.
- "Are Eric Holder's Days Numbered?". Smart Politics. May 16, 2013.
- "Bin Laden Death "Not Assassination" - Eric Holder". May 12, 2011.
- "Holder: When War on Terror Targets Americans". March 5, 2012.
- "Accused 9/11 Terror Suspects to Face Military Trials". CNN. April 4, 2011.
- Terry Frieden, Chris Kokenes (November 13, 2009). "Accused 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed faces New York trial". CNN.
- "Holder Refers 9/11 Co-conspirators to Military Tribunal". Department of Defense. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
- "US Attorney General to Address African Union Summit.". AFP news. July 23, 2010.
- "Justice.gov". Justice.gov. July 25, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- "Remarks by Attorney General at African Union Summit".
- "Holder Delivers Voting Rights Speech". Huffington Post. December 14, 2011.
- "Alabama’s Fight With Justice Department Over Voting Rights Act Going to Supreme Court". June 4, 2012.
- "Shelby County Alabama V Holder". NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
- "Voting Rights Are Under Attack Says Attorney General". May 31, 2012.
- "Holder Tells NAACP Texas Voter ID Laws Hurt Minorities". USA Today. July 10, 2012.
- "Holder Revs Up NAACP Meeting". Politico.com. July 10, 2012.
- "Eric Holder: Supreme Court decision won't stop voting rights enforcement". CNN. April 4, 2013.
- "Eric Holder: Martin Luther King Jr. 'Would Not Yet Be Satisfied' With Voting Rights". Huffington Post. April 4, 2013.
- Markon, Jerry (May 14, 2010). "Holder Is Criticized for Comments on Ariz. Immigration Law, Which He Hasn't Read". The Washington Post.
- Dinan, Stephen (May 13, 2010). "Holder Hasn't Read Arizona Law He Criticized". The Washington Times.
- "Holder: Ariz. Law Inconsistent with Federal Law". CBS News. July 10, 2010.
- http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/June/12-ag-801.html |publisher= US Department of Justice | date=June 25, 2012
- http://atlantablackstar.com/2013/04/27/eric-holder-citizenship-for-illegal-immigrants-is-a-matter-of-civil-and-human-rights/%7C date=April 24, 2013
- "Obama Administration Will No Longer Defend DOMA". CBS News. February 23, 2011.
- "AG Holder: DOJ Won’t Defend a Challenge to DOMA Brought by Members of Military". ABC News. February 17, 2012.
- "Deportation of Citizen's Same-Sex Partner Canceled". June 30, 2011.
- "Holder Intervenes in Gay Man's Deportation Case". Fox News. June 30, 2011.
- "US to Provide $1 billion to Hire cops". CNN. July 28, 2009.
- "Grants and Resources for Community Policing". July 28, 2009.
- Totenberg, Nina (April 1, 2009). "Justice Dept. Seeks To Void Stevens' Conviction". NPR. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
- "Attorney General Holder Opposes California Marijuana Bill". Reuters. October 16, 2010.
- Alex Spillius (January 20, 2011). "FBI arrests 127 'mobsters' in biggest ever crackdown in New York". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2012-06-14. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
- Savage, Charlie (June 19, 2012). "Administration Took Accidental Path to Setting Record for Leak Cases". New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
- Liptak, Adam (February 11, 2012). "A High-Tech War on Leaks". New York Times. Retrieved March 15,2013.
- Aftergood, Steven (February 29, 2012). "There is No Reporter’s Privilege, Leak Prosecutors Insist". Federation of American Scientists Secrecy news. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- Lang, Brent (February 26, 2009). "Holder Revives Talk Of An Assault Weapons Ban". CBS News.
- Lang, Lang (February 26, 2009). "Holder Revives Talk Of An Assault Weapons Ban". CBS News. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
- "UBS bank listed among Holder ex-clients". The Seattle Times. January 27, 2009.
- Mikkelsen, Randall (March 2, 2009). "U.S., Swiss justice officials meet amid UBS probe". Reuters.
- "Holder to Present Reno with AJS's Justice Award" Palazzolo, Joe. The BLT:The Blog of Legal Times. April 17, 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
- McCullagh, Declan (November 29, 2010). "AG says WikiLeaks criminal probe is 'ongoing'". News.cnet.com. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- Yager, Jordy. "Gitmo may stay open beyond 2012". Thehill.com. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- "Holder: "Waterboarding is torture"". Firstread.msnbc.msn.com. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- "Senate Republicans Delay Holder Confirmation". The Huffington Post. February 21, 2009.
- Tuohey, Jason (November 18, 2008). "Holder on Bush, executive power" (Article). News (Boston Globe). Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- Tapper, Jake (November 18, 2008). "Holder v Bush on War on Terror Tactics" (Blog). Political Punch (ABC News). Retrieved November 23, 2008.
- "CFR Profile of Eric Holder". Cfr.org. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- "White House, Woodward Clash Over Allegations of Oil Price Fixing With Saudis, Critics Find Fault with Patriot Act" (Transcript). Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics (CNN). April 19, 2004. Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- Greenwald, Glenn (November 19, 2008). "Preliminary facts and thoughts about Eric Holder" (Blog). Glenn Greenwald's Unclaimed Territory (Salon.com). Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- "Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Attorney General Eric Holder at the Department of Justice African American History Month Program". U.S. Department of Justice. February 18, 2009.
- Mitchell, Mary (February 19, 2009). "Attorney General Eric Holder's race speech stirs debate". The Chicago Sun-Times.
- Hornick, Ed (February 19, 2009). "Holder 'nation of cowards' remarks blasted, praised". CNN.
- "Obama Discusses Holder's 'Cowards' Remark". CNN. March 7, 2009.
- Cooper, Helene (March 7, 2009). "Attorney General Chided for Language on Race". The New York Times.
- Dispute over New Black Panthers case causes deep divisions. The Washington Post, October 22, 2010.
- Holder says experiences of ‘my people’ not similar to contemporary voter intimidation. The Daily Caller, March 3, 2011.
- Eric Holder's People. The Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2011.
- Gerstein, Josh (March 1, 2011). "Eric Holder: Black Panther case focus demeans 'my people'". Politico. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
- Blum, Justin (July 6, 2011). "Congress Probes Payments to Gun Smugglers". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- "Project Gunrunner | Phoenix ATF | Issa Grassley Letter". The Daily Caller. February 4, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- "Justice Department Obstructing 'Fast and Furious' Gun Probe, ATF Director Says". Fox News. July 6, 2011.
- "Holder emails" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Listen to Holder lying under sworn testimony starting at 01:30:12". C-spanvideo.org. 2011-05-03. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Serrano, Richard A. (2011-10-03). "Emails shows how top Justice Department officials knew of ATF gun program". Latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Issa, Chaffetz confirm contempt plans for Holder over Fast and Furious". Fox News. 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- "Issa: Holder must turn over documents or face contempt vote". CNN. June 19, 2012.
- Madhani and Davis, Aamer and Susan. "House panel votes to cite Holder for contempt of Congress". USA Today. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- "Congress contempt charge for US Attorney General Holder". BBC. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- "Citing NRA Score, Democrats Brace For Defections in Holder Contempt Vote". NBC News. June 26, 2012.
- "House holds Holder in contempt". CNN.com. June 28, 2012.
- Rick Perry (November 21, 2011). "Eric Holder must go". Washington Times. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- "Senator calls for Holder's resignation amid challenges over leak probe, Fast and Furious". Fox News. June 12, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Rick Perry (June 19, 2012). "Elijah Cummings: Eric Holder Acted Honorably Eric Holder must go". Politico.
- "Fast and Furious: Eric Holder Cleared but 14 Faulted". BBC News. September 19, 2012.
- Kevin Johnson (September 19, 2012). "Review: Holder did not know about 'Fast and Furious'". USA Today.
- Mattingly, Phil (March 6, 2013). "Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Limit Prosecutor Options, Holder Says". Bloomberg. Retrieved 14, March 2013.
- Holder, Eric (March 2013). "Testimony to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary". video. United States Senate. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- Breslow, Jason (March 5, 2013). "Senators Bash DOJ for “Evasive” Response on “Too Big To Jail”". FRONTLINE. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Senators Charles Grassley and Sherrod Brown (March 1, 2013). "Unsatisfactory Response from Justice Department on “Too Big to Jail”". Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Boyer, Peter J. (May 6, 2012). "Why Can't Obama Bring Wall Street to Justice?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Eric H. Holder Jr.". Biographies. Covington & Burling LLP. June 15, 2008. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- Holley, Joe (October 14, 2005). "Vivian Malone Jones Dies; Integrated U-Ala." (Obituaries). Metro (The Washington Post). Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- Hook, Carol S. (November 19, 2008). "Politics.usnews.com". Politics.usnews.com. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- "Covington’s Eizenstat, Gesell, Holder, Horsky and Ruff Among Legal Times' 'Greatest Washington Lawyers of Past 30 Years'". Covington & Burlington LLP. May 28, 2008.
- "Diversity Overview". Covington & Burlington LLP.
- "Two Covington Partners Among National Law Journal's 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers". Covington & Burlington LLP.
- "100 Great Barbadians to be recognised". Barbados Advocate. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
- "2010 BU Honorary Degree Recipients". BU Today. April 30, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- "Holder Urges Grads to Emulate Robert Kennedy's Legacy of Service". Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- Resmovits, Joy (March 10, 2009). "Holder Selected as Class Day Speaker". Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
- "'Put your skills to use to define our future,' Attorney General tells class". Harvard Law School. May 23, 2012.
- "Black U.S. Attorney Brings an Indictment Against Powerful House Committee Chairman". Jet (FindArticles.com). June 20, 1994. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Crabtree, Susan (April 28, 1997). "A New Sheriff at Justice". Insight on the News (FindArticles.com). Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Haywood, Richette L. (September 1994). "First Black U.S. Attorney in D.C.". Ebony (FindArticles.com). Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Longstreth, Andrew (June 2008). "Making History". The American Lawyer. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- Randolph, Laura B. (January 1999). "Power Couples". Ebony (FindArticles.com). Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Lichtblau, Eric; David Johnston (December 1, 2008). "Pardon Is Back in Focus for the Justice Nominee". The New York Times. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Eric Holder|
- Profile at the United States Department of Justice
- Eric Holder collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Eric Holder collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Works by or about Eric Holder in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Justice Department Bio of Holder as Deputy Attorney General at the Wayback Machine
- Columbia University
- Covington & Burling
- The History Makers
- Homeland Security Policy Institute
- Eric Holder's federal campaign contribution report at NewsMeat
- Holder Speech at Department of Justice African American History Month Program Feb. 18, 2009
- Authenticated text, audio, video of Eric Holder Speech at the Department of Justice African American History Month Program AmericanRhetoric.com
- Attorney General Holder Speech to the African Union Summit July 2010
- Will Eric Holder Be the Anti-Torture Hero? by Andy Worthington, The Huffington Post, July 12, 2009
|United States Deputy Attorney General
|United States Attorney General
|United States Attorney General
|United States order of precedence|
as Secretary of Defense
|Order of Precedence of the United States
as Attorney General
as Secretary of the Interior
|United States presidential line of succession|
as Secretary of Defense
|7th in line
as Attorney General
as Secretary of the Agriculture