The bad blood between Senate Judiciary chair Pat Leahy, and ranking Republican Arlen Specter, over Attorney General nominee Eric Holder, shows no signs of abating.
Yesterday, Specter pointedly questioned
Holder's record of independence, even comparing Holder to Alberto Gonzales -- a low blow by any measure.
Leahy, who supports Holder's confirmation, seems to have taken exception. His office today released the following statement in his name -- which tries to turn the Gonzo precedent back on Specter:
We need the new Attorney General to be a person of experience and independence. Eric Holder's long record of public service has earned him strong support from law enforcement organizations, civil rights groups, victims' rights advocates, former Reagan and Bush administration officials, and others. Any effort to question his character is unfounded. Every Republican voted for Alberto Gonzales, and felt his character merited confirmation. Certainly Eric Holder greatly exceeds that test.
For weeks, Leahy and Specter have been bickering over the nomination. Specter prevailed on his opposite number to delay the confirmation hearings
, citing a need to look more closely at Holder's record, in particular his role in the pardon of Marc Rich