Holder On Justice Reform: We Did All We Could, “The Job’s Not Done”


Former Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking about reform in the federal criminal justice system, tells the National Law Journal, “I’m actually kind of satisfied with where we got. The job’s not done. You know, I think we did as much as we could using executive branch discretion, but now it’s up to Congress to put in place measures that will last beyond this administration. We made a sea change from the policies that I inherited…now, Congress needs to act.” Will it happen? “I think we have a moment in time where the left and the right seem to agree that [for] criminal justice reform the time has come, for different reasons,” he says, adding, “I would hope in this Congress, not the next one, but in this Congress, that legislation will pass.” He said he had lunch with libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY,) and “It was breathtaking to see the amount of agreement that we had on this subject.”

Holder, now back at his former law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., had vowed not to join the social media outlet Twitter but decided to do so because, “I was so affected by what happened in Charleston at Mother Emanuel (church), that I just felt the need to express feelings that I had.” Holder’s tweet started, “Hate and gun violence. How often? How long? My heart breaks – again.” The former AG says he will not join Facebook, however.

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