As the dust settled after the abrupt announcement of Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation, the speculation around who will assume the role as the nation’s top justice official has started to swirl.
According to someone who knew Holder well, prognosticators should trim their likely candidates -- it will be a woman.
In an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, Holder’s longtime friend and Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree repeatedly referred to the potential replacement as “she.” Pressed by MSNBC’s Alex Witt to reveal his pick for a replacement, Ogletree said, “I’m not gonna put her name out,” reasoning, “I don’t want her to not be able to be confirmed by the Senate.”
Ogletree, who is also considered a mentor to President Barack Obama, had earlier told Witt of his undisclosed pick, “she would be a great attorney general. I think we’re gonna have a long way to go to figure out who she will be — and I hope it will be a woman.”
Holder announced on Thursday that he would step down from the head of the Justice Department, a position he has held since 2009, as soon as a replacement is selected. Obama has yet to announce a replacement for Holder, who was also one of the president's close friends. There have been many names floated as possibilities, including Former White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, and University of California System President Janet Napolitano.
There are many issues that await the next Attorney General, including security amid the threat of ISIS, concern over government surveillance, and prosecuting misconduct in the financial sector. But first, Obama's eventual nominee must clear confirmation in a divided Senate, which would be all the more challenging should Republicans take control of the chamber after midterm elections.