In Previous Roles, Holder Took Both Sides in Civil Rights Cases

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 22, 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

In Previous Roles, Holder Took Both Sides in Civil Rights Cases


Byline: Jennifer Haberkorn, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who challenged the country last week to confront race relations, has found himself on both sides of the courtroom on civil rights cases during his eight-year tenure at a high-profile Washington law firm.

And during his last stint at the Justice Department - when he served as deputy attorney general, the agency's No. 2 position, from 1997 to 2001 - the number of civil rights enforcement cases taken through the courts to a verdict fell, records show.

Mr. Holder, the first black person to hold the nation's top law enforcement job, called the United States a nation of cowards for not discussing more openly the country's troubled racial history and vowed that the department, under his leadership, would take a greater role in fighting racism and other discrimination.

His comment, viewed by some as incendiary, continued to receive attention at the end of the week, when White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked by reporters whether President Obama agreed that the United States was essentially a nation of cowards.

I have not talked to the president about that, he said. I think what the attorney general discussed was, or talked about, was that for many years in this country all races have struggled with discussions about race.

A review of Mr. Holder's private legal practice shows that he represented companies accused of discrimination as well as individuals who claimed their civil rights had been violated by the federal or state governments, among many other cases.

Until recently, Mr. Holder was part of the pro bono group that represented Dennis Patrick Brown, according to written answers he provided the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing. Mr. Brown was wrongfully convicted of rape nearly 20 years ago in Louisiana and was exonerated by DNA evidence in 2005 through work by the Innocence Project-New Orleans.

The group then offered the case to Covington & Burling, which Mr. Holder joined in 2001 after serving as the deputy attorney general in the Clinton Justice Department. The firm was asked to pursue a still-pending federal case that claimed Mr. Brown was deprived of his constitutional rights and a state case seeking compensation.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

In Previous Roles, Holder Took Both Sides in Civil Rights Cases
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?