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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Holder Leaves Attorney General Post

As January thankfully comes to a close, Holder is out and a new Attorney General needs to be voted in. The most important legacy Eric Holder will probably leave as attorney general seems to be his willingness to insulate President Obama from politically damaging issues. The main question today for Holder’s designated successor, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, is whether she will reassert the often-vaunted but seldom-seen independence of the office. Lynch is not controversial, but the agency and its current leader certainly are. That’s where you can expect to see fireworks in her confirmation hearings. As Holder leaves office, he leaves his all-but-certain successor with a host of unresolved controversies, including IRS targeting, Fast and Furious, reporter snooping and the legitimacy of the president’s executive actions. Senate Republicans have a chance to pin down Lynch on these hot bottom issues and achieve what conservatives call a “restoration” of the office to its traditional role. What she says during the hearings will help define the parameters of the administration’s legal pioneering for the closing days of the Obama era.

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