Impeach Holder for Not Defending an Unconstitutional Law!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 15 2013 9:50 AM

Impeach Holder for Not Defending an Unconstitutional Law!

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Defend the Defense of Marraige Act? Holder said no.

Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The brand-new Articles of Impeachment against Attorney General Eric Holder bear more than their fair amount of futility. They were introduced yesterday, endorsed by 10 members of Congress, all Republicans. But when I called up the office of Florida Rep. Ted Yoho, looking for the full list of articles, I was told that they could be read in the Library of Congress. Only after I checked with the less famous actual sponsor of the Articles—Texas Rep. Pete Olson, who holds the old Tom DeLay seat—did I see them.

1. Refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on October 12, 2011, seeking information and documents regarding Operation Fast and Furious. This is a violation of 2 U.S.C. 192.
2. Failure to enforce multiple laws, including the Defense of Marriage Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. This is a violation of the oath Mr. Holder swore to "well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office" of Attorney General.
3. Refusal to prosecute the IRS officials involved in the targeting and disclosure of tax records belonging to political donors. This is a violation of the oath Mr. Holder swore to "well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office" of Attorney General.
4. False testimony under oath before Congress on May 15, 2013, about the Justice Department investigation of journalist James Rosen. This is a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1621.
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A full list of sponsors is here, and—wait, "failure to enforce multiple laws, including the Defense of Marriage Act"? This was pretty well litigated in the summer. Holder and the administration declined to defend a law that was later struck down. The rest of the charges include one (refusing to comply with a subpoena) that led to Holder's censure and two that aren't proven.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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