WHEREAS, Eric Holder is the first African American Attorney General of the United States; and
WHEREAS, Eric Holder is among the most qualified candidates to eve hold the office of United States Attorney General in American history; and
WHEREAS, prior to becoming Attorney General, Mr. Holder served as the Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno and lead the transition from Ms. Reno to her successor, Attorney General John Ashcroft; served as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia; served as Superior Court Judge (a position to which he was nominated by Ronald Reagan); and worked as a Trial Attorney in the Public Integrity section of the Department of Justice; and
WHEREAS, since becoming Attorney General, Eric Holder has reinvigorated the U.S. Department of Justice, and in particular the Department's work on protecting Americans' civil rights and our voting rights; and
WHEREAS, together with Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Tom Perez, Mr. Holder has been an extremely effective advocate for civil rights, voting rights, fair lending and fair housing, equal opportunities in education and employment, and in investigating and prosecuting law enforcement misconduct and human trafficking; and
WHEREAS, on June 28, 2012, the United States House of Representatives, driven by its extremist Members, vote, by a margin of 255 yeas to 67 nays, with 1 member voting "present" and 109 Members not voting, to cite Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over documents in the "Fast and Furious" debacle; and
WHEREAS, to protest the vote, 108 members of Congress, led by Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emmanuel Clever (MO}, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), walked out of the Chamber in protest and did not vote; and
WHEREAS, this vote now gives Eric Holder the distinction of being the first sitting U.S. Attorney General, and indeed the first sitting member of a President's cabinet, to be found in contempt of Congress by a vote of the full House of Representatives; and
WHEREAS, the extremist supporters of the contempt of Congress citation say that the Attorney General has not been forthcoming over his knowledge of and role in the flawed "Fast and Furious" debacle, a program which was initiated by agents of the Phoenix, Arizona, office of the Bureau of Alcohol Firearms and Explosives; and
WHEREAS, the extremist supporters of the contempt of Congress citation appear to have overlooked a number of key facts, including the fact that the Attorney General has testified before Congress on this matter no less than 9 times in the past 18 months, or that the "Fast and Furious" program was closely modeled after "Operation Wide Receiver," which was developed and implemented during the previous Administration, or that once he knew the details of the "Fast and Furious" operation, Attorney General Holder immediately suspended it and called for an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice's Inspector General; and
WHEREAS, these same extremist Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are the same ones who included "riders" to the bill funding the Department of Justice in 2013 which prohibited the Justice Department from pursuing lawsuits against states which enact discriminatory photo ID provisions when voting; against states which enact laws that codify, if not encourage racial profiling by law enforcement; in support of health care reform; in support of the guidance recently issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against criminal background checks; and against states on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board with respect to secret ballot union elections; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP is outraged that the U.S. House of Representatives is spending time and resources on this extremist partisan, political folly when there are so many crucial problems facing our nation, including a war in Afghanistan, high and frustrating unemployment rates here in the United States, a fractured criminal justice system, continuing foreclosures crisis across the nation, but to name a few, that call for national leadership.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP expresses its strong support of Attorney General Holder and for his work at the U.S. Department of Justice to protect and enhance the civil and voting rights of all Americans; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls upon all of its members to contact their elected Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to express their outrage at the treatment of the first African American and one of the best Attorney Generals in history; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP Washington Bureau send out updates to all units as necessary on this travesty.