Wednesday, February 23, 2011

U.S. Attorney General Speaks at Duquesne

Focusing on the importance of public service in legal practice, United States Attorney General Eric Holder gave the keynote address at the Duquesne University School of Law’s centennial anniversary today.

Holder says every law school graduate should have the opportunity to work in the public sector for at least part of his or her career. He says that would help America adhere even more faithfully to its “founding documents.”

The Attorney General also spoke about his tenure leading the Department of Justice, highlighting the emphasis on national security.

“The Department [of Justice] has responsibility as a civil division, an environmental and natural resources division, an anti-trust division, a criminal division, a tax division,” says Holder, “but I think I spend probably maybe 60 or 70% of my time on national security, whether it’s dealing with threats from al-Qaeda [or] dealing with problems in Mexico with the drug cartels.”

Holder says the main funding source for those drug cartels is the sale of marijuana in the U.S., which is the major reason he’s against legalizing the drug. However, Holder says he won’t use his Department’s limited resources trying to fight medical marijuana use.

Holder didn’t comment on the Obama administration’s decision to drop support for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.

Listen to Holder's Address here.

Listen to the Q and A following the address here.

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