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Obama's Cabinet
Attorney General - Eric Holder (Announced)
12.1.08, 03:08 PM CST
5 of 10
‹‹ Secretary of Defense - Robert Gates (Announced) Homeland Security - Janet Napolitano (Announced) ››

Born in the Bronx, Mr. Holder attended Columbia University and graduated from Columbia Law School in 1976. Mr. Holder worked in the U.S. Justice Department until 1988 as a trial attorney in the Public Integrity Section. Mr. Holder was appointed by President Reagan in 1988 to serve as a Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and was confirmed by the U.S Senate.

In 1993 Mr. Holder accepted President Bill Clinton’s offer to become U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, the first African-American to serve in that office. In 1997 Clinton nominated Mr. Holder to be Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, becoming the first African-American to hold that position as well.

Mr. Holder encountered controversy during the final days of the Clinton administration when fugitive Marc Rich was given a last-minute pardon by the President. During testimonies before the House Government Reform Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Holder answered questions about a phone call with Marc Rich’s lawyer after which he gave a "neutral, leaning towards favorable" view towards the pardon. Mr. Holder argued that he didn’t believe his opinions would be regarded as determining whether or not Rich was pardoned due to limited knowledge about the situation. The House Committee’s investigation concluded in 2003 Mr. Holder had participated in Rich’s pardon in a significant manner.

After 2001, Mr. Holder became an attorney at Covington & Burling in DC. In 2004, Mr. Holder appeared on CNN to make his case against the Bush Administration’s use of the Patriot Act and has since criticized the government’s torture policy and warrantless surveillance program.

Mr. Holder served as a senior legal advisor during President-elect Obama’s Presidential campaign. He was also on Obama’s three member vice-presidential selection committee.

‹‹ Secretary of Defense - Robert Gates (Announced) Homeland Security - Janet Napolitano (Announced) ››