Vitter Slams Holder for ‘Dishonest,’ ‘Frankly Insulting’ Testimony on La.’s School-Vouchers Suit

by Andrew Johnson

Eric Holder hasn’t had a great past week on Capitol Hill. After sparring with Representative Louie Gohmert (R., Texas) on Tuesday, the attorney general is now drawing the ire of Senator David Vitter (R., La.) for his misleading testimony on the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Louisiana’s school-voucher program.

“Holder’s testimony under oath about Louisiana’s school voucher program is factually inaccurate, dishonest, and quite frankly insulting,” Vitter said.

Last week, before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, Holder said under oath that the DOJ had not taken a position on the state’s voucher program, and was only seeking further information on it in the lawsuit. He said critics were wrong in claiming his department was trying to eliminate the program.

But Vitter points out that the department’s complaint against Louisiana calls to “permanently enjoin” — or, as defined by Black’s Law Dictionary, “legally prohibit or restrain by injunction” — the program. “I was unaware that a different definition was bestowed to the U.S. Attorney General,” the senator said in a letter to Holder.

More from Vitter:

I request that you elaborate on the facts from which you gave testimony before the House subcommittee and fully explain how requesting a permanent injunction against Louisiana’s school voucher program doesn’t constitute taking a position against the program. The education of our children — and in particular, those from low-income and minority households — is too important to be placed in jeopardy by an activist Department of Justice that puts the interests of politically-connected union bosses over the wellbeing of students.

Last year, the DOJ sued Louisiana over its program, which largely benefits minority students, under the claim that it impedes federal desegregation efforts.