Rant & Rave: Eric Holder and DU's New Divorce Resource Center

August 16 2013, 10:15 AM

Rant: Eric Holder Should Resign, But…      

This week, U.S. Representative Jared Polis (D-Boulder) said he’d be “happy” to see Attorney General Eric Holder vacate his post after more than four controversial years at the helm of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Although Polis stopped short of formally calling for Holder’s resignation, his candor about the AG’s “poor” performance is unusual coming from a member of the same political party.

Polis is right. Holder’s tenure has been marred by inconsistent policies (and inconsistent applications of policies) in numerous areas. After President Obama told us early in his administration that he’d make marijuana prosecutions a low priority, Holder’s DOJ aggressively pursued arrests and convictions throughout California’s legal medical marijuana community. More recently, Holder’s Sphinxian silence about the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington has compromised the ability of these states to implement coherent plans for how to regulate the new market because they have no idea how ardently Holder would enforce the existing federal laws.

Holder also clumsily waded into the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case after Zimmerman’s acquittal, saying his office would look into filing civil charges against Zimmerman, which he may not even be legally able to execute. He also became, in 2012, the first sitting Cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress by the U.S. House of Representatives for his stonewalling over the “Fast and Furious” gunrunning snafu. And worst of all, Holder has at least partially presided over the National Security Administration’s (NSA) efforts to spy on an untold number of Americans in a scandal that’s only beginning to unfold.

Any one of these would be ample reason for citizens and elected officials to question Holder’s fitness for his job. Taken together, they paint a picture of someone who seems determined to flout the Constitution in multiple dangerous and unprecedented ways.

But even if he does step down, who would replace him? It’s a question worth examining, because we the people can no longer ignore that our President—the one who campaigned relentlessly (twice) on platforms of federal transparency and Constitutional protections for all Americans—seems less and less concerned about these assurances every day.

Rave: New DU Center A Welcome Remedy for a Poorly Served Crisis

Anyone who’s endured a divorce knows how difficult it can be for the spouses and their families. But getting help navigating these treacherous waters is rarely easy or affordable. Now, the University of Denver aims to aid our entire community with its new Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families (RCSDF).

Opening on September 3, the RCSDF—the first of its kind in the United States—will provide legal dispute resolution, counseling, and educational services for families suffering through these painful transitions. The fees per hour range from $15 to $50 on a sliding scale, so the Center will be especially appealing to those who can’t afford the more traditional legal and therapeutic options.

Divorce is an unfortunate reality of American life, but it doesn’t have to be as regressive and contentious as it often is. If the RCSDF can help more people emerge from the ordeal healthier and happier, it will have more than fulfilled its mission.

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow 5280 articles editor Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.