Breaking news: Attorney General Eric Holder to step down

Eric HolderThe nation’s first black attorney general will announce his resignation Thursday, a Justice Department official said.

Attorney General Eric Holder will continue to serve until the Senate confirms his successor.

The need for Senate confirmation may be behind the timing of Holder’s resignation, Roll Call said. By resigning prior to the November midterms, Holder would give President Barack Obama the opportunity to name a successor, who would then be approved by Senate Democrats after the recess.

Senate rules have allowed a simple majority to confirm the appointment of administration officials since Democrats led by Harry Reid enacted the so-called “nuclear option” to avoid Republican filibusters of Obama’s nominees.

Republicans are widely expected to win a majority in the Senate this November, which will likely render confirmation of Obama appointees problematic after the Senate is sworn in early next year. For now, the rules allow Democrats to all but ignore Republican senators on nominees, Roll Call said.

Holder is one of only three of President Obama’s original cabinet appointees still serving in his original post. The others are Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Holder told his staff and selected others about the planned announcement earlier today, according to the report.

Some on social media are already speculating about a Supreme Court appointment in Holder’s future, but he is said to have no immediate plans.


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