Former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderWith extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one The Memo: Democrats may rue pursuit of Bannon Ben Affleck, Tracee Ellis Ross join anti-gerrymandering fundraiser with Clinton, Holder MORE endorsed Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Restless progressives eye 2024 Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony MORE’s presidential bid on Tuesday, saying that he believes the former vice president will be “forward-leaning” on issues such as criminal justice reform.
Holder, who served with Biden in the Obama administration for six years, announced his support in an interview with The Washington Post.
During his time as attorney general, Holder sought to reduce mass incarceration by reforming the Justice Department’s charging policies in nonviolent drug cases. He told the Post that he expects Biden to continue the work on criminal justice reform that he advanced during his tenure as the nation’s top law enforcement official.
“I think you will see him deal with the whole problem of mass incarceration and continuing the work that we did during the Obama-Biden years to ask questions about the ways in which we have dealt with criminal justice issues in the nation, like, do we need to incarcerate as many people as we do? And are there alternatives to incarceration?” he said.
Biden has a complicated history on criminal justice. He helped push a 1994 crime bill that created harsher sentences for drug-related offenses. He has since called that legislation a “big mistake” and, last year, he unveiled a proposal aimed at reducing incarceration and investing more in social support programs.
Holder previously considered mounting a presidential campaign of his own, though he ultimately opted instead to focus on redistricting and anti-gerrymandering efforts. He currently chairs the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.
In the interview with the Post, Holder also said that Biden is capable of rising to the public health and economic challenges posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, arguing that in a time of crisis, the U.S. needs a president “who is a Roosevelt opposed to a Hoover. We need a Biden opposed to a Trump.”
“I think he understands the magnitude of the moment, where the nation is going to be in terms of the pandemic and the economic issues that have generated as a result of the pandemic,” Holder told the newspaper.