Saturday, February 7, 2015

Saunders on Holder's Justice

Columnist Debra J. Saunders is not particularly impressed by the “Building Community Trust” roundtable discussion that was directed by Attorney General Eric Holder in Oakland this past week, a discussion which was closed to media. Saunders notes:
... it was painful to watch Holder speak in favor of “body-worn cameras” for law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line, then effectively turn off media cameras that might have recorded any real dialogue of public officials whose polished images are on the line. 
Saunders says Holder "will be remembered most for his skill at putting partisan politics first," as a person who "likes to don a mantle of social justice," but "doesn’t walk the walk."

She notes, for example, Holder "has had a chance to atone for his bad pardon recommendation of Marc Rich while deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration," He could be "pushing commutations for low-level federal inmates" that "don’t have cozy connections with Democratic heavyweight donors as the tax evader Rich had."

Instead, Holder has been "slow" when it comes to "overzealous federal law enforcement under his own jurisdiction." Yes, he "announced a clemency initiative for nonviolent low-level drug offenders who had served at least 10 years and stayed out of trouble." But the evident result has been a mere 11 commutations of sentence. Says Saunders, "That’s par for the course for Holder." She guesses that, "when there is no partisan play to be made, the outgoing attorney general is happy to watch high-stakes criminal justice matters dangle in the wind." See full editorial here

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