Andy McCarthy and Ed Whelan have covered (better than I can) the story in today’s Washington Post of how Attorney General Eric Holder overruled the legal opinion of lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel that the D.C. voting bill is unconstitutional. Giving the District of Columbia a voting member of Congress is one of the top political priorities of the Democratic Party. Reasonable people thus might wonder if Holder overruled OLC because of political considerations rather than because of a legitimate disagreement with OLC’s legal analysis.
The question of politicization is all the more interesting because the current brouhaha involves not only overruling career staff (the old complaint) but overruling both the career lawyers and the Obama political appointees at OLC.
I have a personal interest in this. Democrats accused me of “political” decision making when I was in the Civil Rights Division at Justice. It was nonsense, and I have the court decisions to prove it. But what are the odds the senators who were so quick to call for my head will ever get around to calling for an oversight hearing to look into this serious allegation? When do you think Holder will be getting the same types of letters of condemnation?
This is, of course, the same Eric “we are in dire need of a less political and more independent Justice Department” Holder who brought in Democratic campaign consultant Donna Brazile at Justice on Tuesday to speak to career employees. As I said before, it’s a good thing the Department won’t be politicized.