Halbrook to Testify in Hearings on Eric Holder for Attorney General

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding confirmation hearings on President-elect Barack Obama’s nomination of gun-control advocate Eric Holder for U.S. Attorney General on January 15-16. One of seven who is testifying, Independent Institute Research Fellow Stephen P. Halbrook is arguing against confirmation. Dr. Halbrook is the author of the Independent Institute book, The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, the authoritative book on the Founders’ actual views that the Bill of Rights’ Second Amendment means an individual right. The book has formed the basis for the Institute’s Second Amendment Book Bomb and Dr. Halbrook’s Amici Curiae Brief in the Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, on behalf of 55 members of the Senate, the Senate President, and 250 members of the House of Representatives.

A major advocate of gun control (see here, here, and here), Holder along with Janet Reno and other former Clinton Administration officials signed an Amicus Brief supporting the Washington D.C. government in the Heller case, claiming that “the Second Amendment did not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms.”

But Holder’s disregard for individual rights goes far further as, for example, in his lack of support for the Sixth Amendment right to counsel and the ability of defendants to receive a fair trial. As Deputy Attorney General under Clinton, he was directly involved in the Clinton pardon of billionaire fugitive Marc Rich, supported Internet censorship, and authorized the gunpoint, night-time kidnapping of the boy Elian Gonzalez who was sent from Miami to Cuba. And, here is a quote from an op-ed by Holder in which he further reveals his disregard for basic civil liberties that are protected in the Bill of Rights:

One measure that is an essential part of any [national security] plan is the need to tighten our nation’s gun laws, which allow the easy and legal sale of firearms to terrorists and criminals. . . . [F]ederal law does not require background checks on all firearms sales. In the interest of national security, this should be changed immediately. . . . To further strengthen the ability of law enforcement officials to track those suspected of terrorism or other criminal acts in this country, Congress should also pass legislation that would give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms a record of every firearm sale. (Eric Holder, Jr., “Keeping Guns Away from Terrorists,” The Washington Post, Oct. 25, 2001)

David J. Theroux (1949–2022) was Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Institute.
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