Former AG Eric Holder to receive Thurgood Marshall Award at ABA meeting: Will he run for president?

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Eric Holder

Eric Holder. Gregory Reed / Shutterstock.com

Former Attorney General Eric Holder will receive the Thurgood Marshall Award from the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice on Aug. 4 during the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The keynote speaker will be Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The announcements are here and here.

The Thurgood Marshall Award honors contributions by members of the legal profession to the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights in the United States.

Sherrilyn Ifill

Holder was the first African-American to serve as U.S. attorney general. He was appointed to the position by President Barack Obama and served more than six years, making him the third-longest-serving attorney general in U.S. history.

Holder has said he is considering a run for president, most recently in May during a trip to New Hampshire, Fox News reported. He chairs the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, focusing on partisan gerrymandering, and is currently a partner at Covington & Burling, a position he also held before being named attorney general.

While attorney general, Holder had sought to reduce overincarceration of low-level drug offenders. He visited Ferguson, Missouri, to meet with law enforcement and the family of Michael Brown. His department filed “statements of interest” in dozens of local lawsuits to fight what Holder called “institutionalized injustice.” The cases involved legal aid, transgender plaintiffs, homeless people, juvenile prisoners in solitary confinement, and blind people seeking access to Uber. He also mostly eliminated a forfeiture sharing program.

An online list of accomplishments includes thwarting terrorism, securing justice for victims of lending discrimination, prosecuting financial fraud, and prosecuting financial institutions in connection with the sale of mortgage-backed securities before the recession.

Holder was previously a member of the Justice Department’s public integrity section, a superior court judge, a U.S. attorney, and deputy attorney general.

On Twitter, Holder has criticized the Trump administration for family separations at the border, defended Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and criticized attempts to roll back the Obama administration’s health care law.

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