HRC Blog

House Republicans Attack Attorney General Holder

Attorney General HolderPost submitted by Brian Moulton, Former HRC Legal Director

In the shadow of today’s landmark decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans are once-again playing politics by voting 255-67 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over certain documents.  While the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has legitimately used its authority to investigate the Justice Department’s actions in the so-called “Fast and Furious” program, today’s vote is nothing but an election-year effort to attack the Attorney General and the President. 

Holder and the Department of Justice have made great strides on behalf of civil rights, including for the LGBT community.  Under Holder’s leadership, the Department ended its defense of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act in court and began to argue for the law to be overturned.  DOJ has taken school districts to task for failing to protect LGBT kids who have faced bullying and discrimination based on gender stereotypes.  It has used the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to seek justice for LGBT victims of bias-motivated crime.  And the Department has urged Congress to enact protections for our community through the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. 

Because of this tremendous record, HRC joined a letter led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urging Representatives to reject this partisan attack on the Attorney General.  Because this vote is far from a judgment on the nature of the “Fast and Furious” investigation – it is an assault on the Department of Justice’s efforts to protect all Americans, including LGBT people. 

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