When I give speeches or interviews, I am often asked how the Department of Justice can be fixed. Of course Mitt Romney has to win in November to undo the damage Eric Holder has done. But winning is only step one. It is just as important that President Romney appoint the right person as attorney general. Appointing the wrong person will cover over the rot inside DOJ (and perhaps even strengthen it) because some conservatives will be less willing to criticize bad DOJ policies in a Romney administration.
So who is the right person to serve as Eric Holder’s replacement? First, let’s list some qualifications. The next attorney general cannot view the threat of terrorism as a law enforcement issue. It is a national security issue and should be treated as such.
Next, because racialist policies are being used to advance a broad leftist agenda to the detriment of American business, institutions, and state sovereignty, the next attorney general cannot be a coward, to borrow Eric Holder’s term, about racial matters. (Of course my New York Times bestseller Injustice details this very problem.) Candidates fearful of what the once-proud and now corrupt NAACP says about him or her are not qualified to serve in a Romney administration. Many others in the GOP sold out the dream of Constitutional racial equality in the face of such threats.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, the next attorney general must recognize that the vast majority of the career civil service will seek to thwart the administration’s goals. The next attorney general sadly must view many in the career civil service as an instrument of Democrat Party policy.
I’ve spoken with a broad range of former Justice Department officials about who satisfies these three requirements, and a number of names emerge.
In no particular order, the people who are best suited to replace Eric Holder are listed below.
No state has suffered under Eric Holder more than Arizona, and nobody knows this more than Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. Horne is intimately familiar with the radicalism of DOJ policies – from the lawlessness of Fast and Furious to the lawless immigration policies of Eric Holder. Washington could use a dose of common sense from a state attorney general. Horne would bring a healthy skepticism to the bureaucracy and send a signal that the Romney administration will respect state sovereignty over elections while asserting control of American borders.
Retiring Senator Jon Kyl from Arizona would bring all of Horne’s knowledge plus the ability to maneuver inside the halls of Congress. Kyl understands the damage that Holder has done to the nation and is one of the few senators to call for his resignation.
Texas Senator John Cornyn would also fit the bill. He too has called for Holder’s resignation. He understands firsthand the damage that the Holder Justice Department’s politicized enforcement of voting laws has done to the state of Texas, whether blocking voter ID or making radical arguments about Texas redistricting. Best of all, Cornyn knows how the DOJ has failed to protect military voters, and one suspects Cornyn would make protecting the military’s right to vote a top priority.
During the campaign, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann rarely attacked Mitt Romney, but blistered other foes like Newt Gingrich. Not only does she recognize the national security threats posed by Islamic terror, she is also a brilliant lawyer. She would be the second female, and first Republican female attorney general. She also keenly understands the corrupt role that Holder’s DOJ has played in a wide range of racially charged issues such as voter identification objections. And few can doubt her willingness to tangle with the bureaucracy. She appears immune to leftist criticism, a trait that past GOP attorneys general completely lacked to their own detriment. Simply, she knows how to fight. On top of these attributes, as a member of Congress, historical practice suggests that she would have an easier path to confirmation than other potentially controversial candidates.
Two lesser known names emerged from my discussions with former top DOJ officials: Greg Katsas and Mark Filip.
Katsas is a partner at the law firm Jones Day. Katsas served as the assistant attorney general for the Civil Division in the Bush (43) Justice Department and later as the acting associate attorney general – the third-ranking DOJ official. He is a genuine patriot, brilliant lawyer, and seasoned DOJ vet. He argued against Obamacare at the Supreme Court. While he was the acting associate AG, Katsas gained firsthand understanding of the lawless and business-killing mischief the Civil Rights Division is capable of. In the Clinton years, Eric Holder served in the slot just above the associate attorney general and went to a D.C. law firm afterwards. Katsas shares the same career trajectory as Holder, but without Holder’s baggage, and with brilliance and talent Holder never had.
Former Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip left a lifetime appointment on the federal bench to join the Justice Department in March 2008. He is widely respected for his strong commitment to national security and law and order. But he also has firsthand familiarity with the left-wing rot in the DOJ. Indeed, it was Filip and Attorney General Michael Mukasey who exposed the militant liberal biases of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and, in particular, OPR attorney Tamara Kessler. Kessler tried to improperly castigate John Yoo for his analysis of the legality of enhanced interrogation techniques. (Ironically, although Kessler’s report was subsequently repudiated, she is now the head of the office overseeing civil rights and civil liberties at the recently befouled Department of Homeland Security.)
Finally, Michael Mukasey deserves further mention. Mukasey is a man of great integrity who “restored” the Justice Department once before. The prior “restoration” was really just a warm-up for 2013 and I can’t think of anyone better suited to clean up the disaster left by the current attorney general. Mukasey is solid on terror policy. (Watch this amazing 2012 speech by Mukasey on radical Islam at the Republican National Lawyers Association meeting.) Yet some former DOJ officials I spoke to about this story replied Mukasey was “not good” on issues of race. Perhaps so, perhaps not. But one thing is for sure, Mukasey has a deep and abiding respect for the rule of law. He brings integrity to anything he touches. And he knows lawlessness when he sees it, and these days, that is the problem inside this Justice Department. One need not be on a crusade to stamp out race-based preferences to see that a racialist policy infuses Eric Holder’s DOJ. Don’t forget, Mukasey’s Justice Department approved the case against the New Black Panther Party. His Justice Department would have seen it through. Holder’s did not.
So take your pick: Horne, Kyl, Cornyn, Bachmann, Katsas, Filip, or Mukasey. Any of them are better than some of the other names being mentioned, names that frequently are associated with defense of race-based preferences, ideological elasticity, fear of the left, or deference to bureaucrats. Any of the seven would be the right kind of person to reverse four years of ideological and racial corruption under Eric Holder.
But if you think you have a better idea, add it to the comments section below.