July 23, 2018

Former Attorney General Eric H. Holder to receive ABA Thurgood Marshall Award

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2018 — The American Bar Association Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will honor Eric H. Holder, Jr., former U.S. attorney general, with its Thurgood Marshall Award. The award, which recognizes members of the legal profession for their long-term contributions to the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights in the United States, will be presented at the Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 8 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago during the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Holder, a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, served as attorney general from February 2009 to April 2015 under President Barack Obama. He was the third-longest serving attorney general in U.S. history.  He also was the first African-American to hold the position. As attorney general, he initiated much-needed reforms of the criminal justice system and re-invigorated enforcement of the civil rights laws.

“In his long career in public service, as a judge and then U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia, as deputy attorney general and then as attorney general, Eric Holder has fought to protect civil rights and to promote the rule of law,” said Robert N. Weiner, chair of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice. “At the Department of Justice, he communicated by word and deed the imperative of enforcing the law fairly, ethically, and with compassion.  He demanded respect for the rights of every individual.  He set very high standards for the Department, and, in retrospect, they are looking better and better.”

Holder served in the government for more than 30 years and was appointed to various positions that required a U.S. Senate confirmation by Presidents Obama, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.

Holder earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Columbia University.

The keynote speaker for the awards presentation ceremony will be Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund was founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall. Ifill holds the same position that Marshall held.

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice provides leadership within the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties and social justice. Representing nearly 10,000 members with a wide range of professional interests, the section keeps its members abreast of complex civil rights and civil liberties issues and ensures that the protection of individual rights remains a focus of legal and policy discussion.

There is no charge for media covering this event. To register, please contact Betsy Adeboyejo at 202-662-1039 or Betsy.Adeboyejo@americanbar.org.

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