The first ever African American U.S. Attorney General will announce today that he plans to step down after six years as head of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Eric Holder is going to stay on until President Obama secures a successor, CBS News reports. Holder is one of just three members of President Obama’s original cabinet who is still serving.
Holdr, 63, had been in discussions with Obama about leaving the Robert F. Kennedy Building and put his plans in place over the Labor Day weekend.
The former judge and prosecutor took over the Justice Department, which also controls the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the ATF, just as the nation had plunged into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depresion 80 years ago. They country was also immersed in the controversial handling of captured terrorism suspects.
In his first few years on the job, Holder endured a succession of firestorms over among other things, an ultimately-abandoned plan to try terrorism suspects in New York City, a botched gun-running probe along the Southwest border that prompted Republican calls for his resignation, and a perceived failure to hold banks accountable for the economic meltdown.
But Holder stayed on when Obama won re-election, and used the office for issues that he said were personally important to him. He promoted voting rights and legal benefits for same-sex couples and pushed for changes to a criminal justice system that he said meted out punishment disproportionately to minorities.