Holder: ‘Vast Amount Of Discretion’ In Enforcing Federal Laws, ‘You Don’t Want To Go There’ On Contempt

Attorney General Eric Holder testified today before the House Judiciary Committee and claimed he has a “vast amount of discretion” when it comes to enforcing federal laws. As if laws are written for political appointees to decide whether or not those laws should be enforced.

Holder’s remarks, during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, came in response to GOP accusations that he is flouting the law with his department’s positions on marijuana legalization, criminal sentencing and a contentious provision of the president’s signature healthcare law.

Leading the questioning was House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who asked Holder whether he believed there were any limits to the administration’s prosecutorial discretion.
“There is a vast amount of discretion that a president has — and, more specifically, that an attorney general has,” Holder responded. “But that discretion has to be used in an appropriate way so that your acting consistent with the aims of the statute but at the same time making sure that you are acting in a way that is consistent with our values, consistent with the Constitution and protecting the American people.”

Holder said the Justice Department must defend federal laws on the books unless it concludes that “there is no basis to defend the statute.” (Read More)

Holder also went off on Rep. Louis Gohmert who brought up prior contempt charges against Holder for withholding Fast and furious documents. Gohmert said “I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight,” to which Holder replied “You don’t want to go there, buddy!”