Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Arlen Specter said Tuesday afternoon he’ll vote for attorney general-designate Eric Holder when the committee meets Wednesday to consider his nomination.
Specter initially objected to the quick scheduling of Holder’s confirmation just weeks after his appointment by President Barack Obama, saying it did not leave enough time to investigate Holder’s background, including his involvement in the pardon of Marc Rich and his decision not to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate then-Vice President Al Gore’s fund-raising activities for the 1996 presidential campaign.
Specter, R-Penn., said Tuesday that Holder has “excellent qualifications” and provided answers to his “very serious questions” regarding Rich and the fund-raising investigation during a private meeting last Thursday.
It is necessary to ask pointed questions of all nominees. Unlike other Cabinet officials, the attorney general does more than carry out the president’s policies. The attorney general has an independent duty to the American people to uphold the rule of law.”
Specter’s affirmative vote for Holder removes one of the major obstacles to Holder’s confirmation, and the Senate Judiciary Commitee will vote on Holder’s nomination at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Should the committee approve Holder’s nomination, as is now expected, the full Senate could vote on his confirmation later Wednesday afternoon.