MacIver News Service | March 15, 2018
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON, Wis. – When Barack Obama apostle Eric Holder stumps in Wisconsin today, expect him to be feted as a civil rights hero by the Badger State left.
But the former attorney general who took his brand of political activism law enforcement to the post was no hero to the Constitution, which he routinely twisted and tortured in the name of left-wing politics.
“He politicized the Justice Department and its administration of justice in a way that has never been done before,” Hans von Spakovsky, constitutional law expert at the Heritage Foundation, told MacIver News Service Tuesday on the Vicki McKenna Show.
Dallet likes to paint herself as a moderate. Her opponent, Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock and many of his fellow conservatives see Dallet as a liberal activist who, if elected, wouldn’t uphold the rule of law.
It is interesting that Dallet is enlisting the assistance of a Democrat former U.S. attorney general who so often failed to uphold the rule of law.
“People should not forget, he’s the first and only attorney general in American history to be held in contempt by congress,” von Spakovsky said of Holder, who refused to turn over documents about the botched Operation Fast and Furious. The deadly federal “justice” initiative is seen by many as the most reckless and ill-conceived law enforcement operation ever assembled by the Justice Department.
Von Spakovsky and National Review reporter John Fund wrote the book on Holder. In “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department,” the 2014 examination of the many abuses of the former attorney general, von Spakovsky and Fund interviewed a career Justice Department attorney who had been hired by President Bill Clinton.
“He told us that the partisanship that Eric Holder infested the Justice Department with made [Holder] the worst person to hold the position of AG since John Mitchell, who, you will remember, went to jail because of the Watergate scandal,” von Spakovsky said.
Holder, the first African-American to serve as the nation’s top lawyer, was known for putting prosecutions – and politics – above the constitution.
Upon his announced exit in September 2014, the New York Times gushed over the attorney general, asserting Holder’s six-year tenure was “one of the most consequential in United States history.”
“In a position that rarely rewards boldness – and in the face of a frequently hostile Congress – Mr. Holder has continued to stake out strong and laudable positions on many of the most contested issues of the time,” the liberal publication declared.
But it was Holder who disregarded Supreme Court rulings on voter identification laws based on his own activist interpretation that the statutes were discriminatory.
As libertarian columnist James Bovard noted, Holder, a vocal critic of Bush administration warrantless wiretaps, became a “key defender of the National Security Agency’s email dragnet.”
Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett wrote that Holder sank to an “all-time low” when he chose to spy on American journalists.
“Under the guise of national security, he allowed prosecutors to seize telephone and email records of reporters, including Fox News’ own James Rosen, in an overzealous search for leaks and leakers,” Jarrett wrote. “It was a shameful act that disgraced his high office.”
On this, Sunshine Week, celebrating transparent and open government, Holder still has plenty of explaining to do.
In Wisconsin, Louisiana and elsewhere, Holder’s Justice Department harassed and intimidated parental choice schools in the name of discrimination-fighting. The school choice programs in places like intercity Milwaukee are designed to lift up impoverished families. It mattered little to Holder that the Supreme Court had long upheld school voucher programs as constitutional. He would take Wisconsin in particular on a four-year “ongoing” Justice Department investigation that suddenly closed without comment.
“He was using the civil rights division of the Justice Department to do that, the worst and most corrupted division in the entire justice department,” von Spakovsky said. “The idea that state law gives parents the ability to chose which school they are going to send their kids to, that that would be ‘discriminatory’ under federal anti-discrimination laws is completely absurd, but they used that as a pretext for basically trying to to intimidate states with those kinds of programs.”
Should Dallet and her supporters laud Holder, as he will surely praise Dallet, Wisconsin residents should remember Holder’s real legacy, von Spakovsky urged.
“I spent four years at the Justice Department. I know the power federal prosecutors have,” he said. “That’s why we have to be very careful to make sure the people who get into the Justice Department won’t abuse that power.
“Eric Holder was someone who had absolutely no compunction whatsoever about abusing that authority.”