The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Time to put a "Hold" on Holder
Good day, Senators-
I write to you today to insist that you make all possible effort to put a HOLD on the potential nomination of Eric Holder to the critical position of Attorney General.
I cannot stress enough the importance of this - Holder is a Clinton-era holdover that brings with him a demonstrable history of anti-freedom policies and behaviors.
Some Holder History
- As a Federal Prosecutor, Holder refused to prosecute FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi or any of his superiors for the murder of Vicky Weaver at Ruby Ridge.
- As Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno, Holder was in charge of defending and covering up for the government in the Waco Massacre.
- Holder was the official in charge of the Elian Gonzales affair and ordered the pre-dawn SWAT raid to seize the 6-year old Cuban refugee from the home of relatives who had legal custody of the boy.
- After the terrorist attacks of 9-11, in which the terrorists used box-knives and airplanes as their weapons, Holder called for new restrictions on firearms sales and transfers.
- In the Heller case, Holder signed on to an amicus brief arguing in support of the DC gun ban and the “collective right” theory of the Second Amendment.
- Holder has called for federal investigation of every firearm transfer – even between relatives – and the registration and licensing of all firearm and firearm owners.
- Holder has called for federal restrictions and controls on the internet and limits on internet speech and privacy as well.
- Holder handled Clinton’s pardon of a group of Puerto Rican terrorists who murdered a number of people in New York City as well as the pardon of billionaire tax evader Marc Rich (the man who created the petroleum “spot market” – the system which recently drove gas prices over $5.00 a gallon.)
- Holder has been an outspoken advocate of stricter gun control, greater government control, and more police powers.
The recent election results are not, as some would believe, a mandate for “change” with no checks and balances. My understanding of civics is that the Senate (along with the House) has a duty to balance out the overall power of the Federal government, not to rubber-stamp every bad idea that comes from the office of the Executive.
Make no mistake; the nomination of Eric Holder is a bad idea. It would bring back an unfortunate piece of the Clinton “legacy” that freedom-loving citizens in Texas and elsewhere were more than happy to be rid of in 2000. In particular, Eric Holder’s lack of respect for the 2nd Amendment (and his erroneous opinion of the 2nd as a “collective right,” which has been disproven) lets me know that he does not respect or trust law-abiding citizens - it really does make for a good litmus test for civil rights as a whole. Firearms ownership is an individual’s civil right, as enumerated in our Constitution and as upheld recently by the Supreme Court in the Heller decision.
I am urging you, as my voice in the Senate, to put a hold, block, reject, and even ask for a withdrawal of the nomination of Eric Holder for Attorney General. I mean this respectfully but unequivocally.
Thank you for your time.
But even the bullet points listed above don't do justice to Holder's role in some of these travesties of justice. A lot more detail here. But the one that still gets under my skin is this one (emphasis mine):
Earlier this year, Eric Holder--along with Janet Reno and several other former officials from the Clinton Department of Justice--co-signed an amicus brief in District of Columbia v. Heller. The brief was filed in support of DC's ban on all handguns, and ban on the use of any firearm for self-defense in the home. The brief argued that the Second Amendment is a "collective" right, not an individual one, and asserted that belief in the collective right had been the consistent policy of the U.S. Department of Justice since the FDR administration. A brief filed by some other former DOJ officials (including several Attorneys General, and Stuart Gerson, who was Acting Attorney General until Janet Reno was confirmed)took issue with the Reno-Holder brief's characterization of DOJ's viewpoint.
A "collective" right? Uh, not so much:
On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed, in a 5-4 decision, the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Parker v. District of Columbia (re-cast as District of Columbia v. Heller before the Supreme Court), that the Second Amendment protects a pre-existing, private, individually-held right, to keep arms and to bear arms, without regard to a person’s relationship to a militia. The Court held that the Second Amendment does not (as the District argued) protect a right to possess arms only while in service in a militia or (as others have argued) a “state’s right” to maintain a militia. (No dissenting justice endorsed the “state’s right” theory, putting an end to it once and for all, one can only hope.)
Maybe it was too much exposure to Marx (and especially to Marxists in college), but I shudder when I hear that word "collective". It's right up there with "proletariat"...
If Holder thought that the Constitution doesn't apply in that case--if "the people" (text of Second Amendment) does not in his opinion translate to "the individual", where else would he--as Attorney General--issue legal opinions that "individual" rights specifically enumerated in the Constitution to "the People" do not apply?? Speech? Dissent? Criticism of the Dear Leader? Search and Seizure?
Does it only apply when Holder and Pelosi and Obama say it does?
Scalia brilliantly raises this point at the very outset of his Majority Opinion (p.5):
1. Operative Clause.
a. “Right of the People.” The first salient feature of the operative clause is that it codifies a “right of the people.” The unamended Constitution and the Bill of Rights use the phrase “right of the people” two other times, in the First Amendment’s Assembly-and-Petition Clause and in the Fourth Amendment’s Search-and-Seizure Clause. The Ninth Amendment uses very similar terminology (“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”). All three of these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not “collective” rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body.
(as an aside, that Scalia opinion is one of the more coherent and well argued opinions I have read in years on this topic...)
So here then is why this all bothers me so much: When the head law enforcement official in the United States writes a brief that the Constitution does not say what it does say, all because of a pre-conceived result he wants to achieve for political purposes--then we have a real problem, folks.
And then there is this:
Match Obama’s “Stop the Smears” operation with this. In May of 1999, Obama AG appointee said:
“The court has really struck down every government effort to try to regulate it [Internet]. We tried with regard to pornography. It is gonna be a difficult thing, but it seems to me that if we can come up with reasonable restrictions, reasonable regulations in how people interact on the Internet, that is something that the Supreme Court and the courts ought to favorably look at.”
First exterminating people for religious views, then snatching kids from their family in the dark of night. Now your freedom to surf the net.
Sorry for all you sunshine pumpers out there, but I think it is just to risky to put a guy who believes all these things in the most powerful law enforcement post in the land--especially given his track record. The Republicans really do need to hold serve on stopping this particular appointment--but it won't happen unless enough of us get involved and get those email and switchboards humming ASAP.
Do not forget: the Democrats spent the last eight years holding up almost every "controversial" (read: "too conservative") appointment that Bush made. Many of them never made it to the floor of the Senate, where confirmation was certain--while their lives were on hold for over two years. Turnabout is fair play; not disproportionate turnabout--but in this case there is far too much at stake to let this slide without a fight.
Realizing that Republicans cannot expend too much political capital--i.e. it would be unwise politicaly to try and hold up all of the Cabinet nominees (even those who lie in their testimony)--the GOP nevertheless needs to man up in this case; stopping the Holder nomination will demonstrate that there will be a price to pay for the Democrats' eight years of blind partisanship and serial obstructionism. One would almost expect Obama to trot out Rodney King any day now with half of Hollywood standing behind him reprising "why can't we all just get along?"
Well, for one thing, because the President has already set a pretty arrogant tone, especially considering we are just five days in. Thus, a not-so-subtle message needs to be sent: that Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are not going to be able to get anything they want without working with Republicans; there needs to be an understanding that a party representing 55 million voters who voted against Obama are not just going to just lay down and allow a runaway Socialist train to destroy what scraps are left of our freedoms and our economy. (if I am wrong about this--if we are going to perform the American equivalent of surrender and marching like sheep to the cattle cars; if we are incapable of making any kind of stand whatsoever for what we all know to be right, then we deserve every bit of misery that will result from our inaction. Personally, I find that "give up" attitude reprehensible and inexcusable.
It is up to We the People to provide the "courage" our politicians seem to find so fleeting these days. Let us remind them who put them in office in the first place--and who can easily send them home in two years.We did not elect a dictator. We have three co-equal branches of Government, two of which are supposed to answer to us, not the other way around. In the words of Captain Picard, let us "make it so".