Democrats Delay Holder Hearings

Posted December 15, 2008 at 1:52pm

Senate Democrats have agreed to delay confirmation hearings on Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to become the new attorney general, after complaints from Judiciary Committee Republicans and the Senate GOP leadership that they would not have adequate time to review his record.

Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) had hoped to start hearings the week of Jan. 8 in order to prepare Holder for confirmation in the hours or days following Obama’s swearing-in Jan. 20.

But Republicans balked, complaining that Holder had not completed most of the needed paperwork for his nomination to move forward and that they would need more time to complete a review of his legal and policy record.

“To accommodate the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, at their request we are delaying the hearing, again, until January 15. The Assistant Republican Leader said last year that ‘attorney general nominees have been confirmed, on average, in approximately three weeks.’ Nonetheless, in order to accommodate the Republican members, I am rescheduling the hearing on Mr. Holder for twice that long, until more than six weeks after his official designation,” Leahy said in a statement Monday.