Eric Holder, the first African-American to hold the position of attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation.
Holder has been one of the longest serving members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, and the fourth longest serving attorney general in US history.
He was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on February 3, 2009. Half a decade later, it seems his historic tenure is over.
According to sources, Holder plans to announce his decision as soon as his successor is confirmed. The leading candidate for the job is apparently Solicitor General Don Verrilli. This process won’t be immediate and could run into 2015.
Evidently, Holder’s decision to resign was not a product of pressure from the White House, but ultimately his own choice. Sources say the White House would’ve been happy to keep him until the end of President Obama’s second term.
A native of New York City, Holder was also the first African-American to be appointed as deputy attorney general by President Bill Clinton.
He’s had a storied career, making huge strides on civil rights issues, particularly. His time as attorney general has not been entirely smooth, however, largely as a consequence of a contentious relationship with republicans in Congress.
Holder has been a voice of reason on issues such as marijuana and the War on Drugs, as well as a champion of same-sex marriage. Moreover, he has fought vigorously against voter suppression, and launched 20 investigations into abuse by local police departments.
Throughout his tenure, Holder has been a fervent advocate for the rights of minorities and there are likely many people out there upset by his decision to step down.
Even though Holder is planning on leaving, he will likely still push on several policy and enforcement initiatives before he walks out the door.
He has not yet signaled what he plans to do after he resigns, but some believe he may return to the corporate law firm Covington and Burling.
H/T: NPR, Photo Credit: Getty Images