Holder Confirmation Hearing Delayed

Following a request from Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the first confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee Eric Holder has been pushed back.

Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today that the hearing would be held Jan. 15--one week after the original Jan. 8 date announced last week.

"The Committee has not yet received the names of other designees for high-ranking Department of Justice officials that we had anticipated and more time is now available to the Judiciary Committee. Therefore, to accommodate the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, at their request we are delaying the hearing, again, until January 15," Leahy said. President-elect Barack Obama assumes the White House Jan. 20.

"It is disappointing to me that they are insisting that we delay at a time when the nation needs its top law enforcement officer and national security team in place and working. I trust that with this additional time to prepare, they will cooperate in proceeding promptly to Committee and Senate consideration of the historic Holder nomination as Democrats did for President Bush," Leahy added.

Specter, the top Republican on the committee, asked for more time last week, raising questions about Holder's role in President Bill Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich.