As reason's Jacob Sullum, David Weigel, and Shikha Dalmia have all noted, President-elect Barack Obama's selection of Eric Holder as the next attorney general doesn't bode well for civil liberties or drug policy reform. Over at The Nation, John Nichols adds his voice to the chorus of disapproval:
Quick! Name the veteran Department of Justice insider who, shortly after the USA Patriot Act was signed into law and at a point when the Bush administration was proposing to further erode barriers to governmental abuses, argued that dissenters should not be tolerated?
Who invoked September 11, explicitly referencing "the World Trade Center aflame," in calling for the firing of any "petty bureaucrat" who might suggest that proper procedures be followed and that the separation of powers be respected?
John Ashcroft? No.
Alberto Gonzales? No.
It was Eric Holder, the man who has reportedly been selected by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as the next Attorney General of the United States.