Eric Holder Issues Call To Public Service

Jun 18, 10 Eric Holder Issues Call To Public Service
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The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law held their 18th annual Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. lecture on June 17, 2010. The guest lecturer was United States Attorney General Eric Holder. General Holder spoke about how individual acts of justice can create a better and more just society. The UDC law school requires an incredible 700 hours of public service so that law students can provide legal assistance to low-income D.C. residents. Mr. Holder issued a call to law students everywhere. Mr. Holder believes that using the law and the legal system to assist those at the margins of society can create a ripple effect throughout our nation that will ultimately lead to a more just and equitable society.

After the lecture, the Attorney General took some questions. One questioner asked him how he felt about the right to vote for D.C. residents. Mr. Holder stated unequivocally that D.C. citizens should have the right to vote. Another question dealt with the Obama administration’s advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act. General Holder does not personally agree with the statute, though he is required to offer a legal argument for statutes passed by Congress.

He also stated his support for the way Mr. Obama has handled the BP disaster and reiterated his disagreement with the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizen’s United case. Mr. Holder stated, “The logic of the decision escapes me.” According to General Holder, the Justice Department is working with Congress in order to create statutory remedies that will limit the harmful impact of the decision.

The Attorney General also discussed tribal sovereignty, the public safety exception to Miranda, and the ongoing review of whether certain CIA officers overstepped the OLC torture guidelines. For the most part, Mr. Holder towed the administration line regarding these issues. However, he did reiterate the government’s strong support for Native American tribal sovereignty.

Although Mr. Holder did not stray too far from the talking points, his call for more public service was very refreshing. It is important to take a step back and look at what our country could be. We should all aspire to do what we can in order to make the world around us a little better.

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