Thanks, Joseph diGenova!
While the public battle to stop Eric Holder’s confirmation as attorney general still lacks the heat of those faced by his predecessors, Alberto Gonzales and John Ashcroft — Orrin Hatch supports Holder, and does anyone think one Democrat will pull away? — it’s gotten hot enough for a passel of right-leaning lawyers to come out in support of President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee. A letter to Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) from Victoria Toensing, Joseph E. diGenova and eight other attorneys tells them that Holder is qualified because he knows his place.
While everyone seems to agree with us that Eric is extraordinarily well qualified to be Attorney General, some have raised questions about certain Presidential pardons issued by President Clinton on the day before he left office. Mentioned most prominently was the Marc Rich pardon. The short answer to any and all of these questions is that the power to issue a Presidential Pardon is a clear plenary power of any President. It is his or hers alone to execute and justify. A Presidential pardon is then unreviewable. Virtually no one disputes that Eric was an outstanding Deputy Attorney General in every respect, President Clinton’s pardons notwithstanding.
I’ve taken Arlen Specter a bit more seriously than, say, Karl Rove in his anti-Holder worries. Specter was laying the wood to Alberto Gonzales long before the former attorney general resigned. So I don’t think this helps Holder convince Specter that he’s an independent man.
Via Doug Kendall.