Eric Holder will announce his intention to retire from his post as the United State’s Attorney General Thursday.

Eric Holder Stepping Down As Attorney General

Holder, who has held the post since President Barack Obama took office in 2008, will announce his decision late Thursday afternoon, a Justice Department official told Politico. Holder reportedly plans on staying on board until the president can find a suitable replacement, as one has not yet been determined.

The primary front-runner to succeed Holder is supposedly Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Patrick is scheduled to leave office at the end of this year. On Thursday, after a meeting with his cabinet, the politician is due to travel to Washington for Congressional Black Caucus events, but could also be meeting with White House officials. If not Patrick, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara are all possible nominations for the attorney general post.

Holder’s decision to step down has reportedly been a long time coming, with him meeting with Obama, “on multiple occasions in recent months,” according to Politico’s source. The official decision was made over Labor Day weekend. While Holder doesn’t have any concrete plans lined up following his retirement, he’d apparently like “to stay actively involved in some of the causes to which he has devoted his time in office.”

Chief among those causes is “[restoring] trust between law enforcement and minority communities.”

Reactions To Holder's Decision

Civil rights leader and MSNBC political analyst Al Sharpton is one person who isn’t eager to see Holder step down from his prominent position in Washington.

“No attorney general has demonstrated a civil rights record that is similar to Eric Holder’s,” Al Sharpton told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, according to Time. “If reports are true, we have lost in effect the most effective civil rights attorney general in the history of this country.”

Less disappointed to see Holder go, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah-R), while acknowledging Holder’s service, is looking forward to seeing who will be his replacement. “I appreciate Eric Holder’s service as attorney general, even though we did not agree on every issue,” Hatch said. “I look forward to participating in the confirmation process.”

If the Democrats maintain the majority in the senate, the Obama administration should have no trouble confirming a liberal-leaning individual in the vein of Holder. However, if the Republicans take control following the mid-term elections, it will likely be more of an uphill battle.

Holder was appointed by President Ronald Regan to the D.C. Superior Court in the late 1980s. By 1993, he was appointed the U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C., and three years later he received the call from the White House to become Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton. Holder, who has been the attorney general since 2008, will be the third-longest serving attorney general in history if he is to stay in the post until the end of the year.

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