Holder HeadAttorney General Eric Holder, who has given new meaning to the phrase a law unto himself, was remarkably candid in his testimony before Congress this week.

Outrageous, but candid.

“There is a vast amount of discretion that a president has — and more specifically that an attorney general has,” Holder told the House Judiciary Committee. “But that discretion has to be used in an appropriate way so that you’re acting consistent with the aims of the statute but at the same time making sure that you are acting in a way that is consistent with our values, consistent with the Constitution and protecting the American people.”

Well, at least he has a passing awareness of the Constitution — because you sure wouldn’t know that as he decides to set aside this or that rather inconvenient law that is apparently inconsistent with his or President Obama’s “values.”

And the committee went through a recent laundry list of those laws that Holder has simply decided just don’t need to be enforced anymore.

High on their list was Holder’s “Smart on Crime” initiative by which the Justice Department basically ordered U.S. Attorneys in the various jurisdictions to work around current mandatory minimum sentences for certain low level, nonviolent drug crimes.

As Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) put it, “The attorney general’s directive, along with contradicting an act of Congress, puts his own front-line prosecutors in the unenviable position of either defying their boss or violating their oath of candor to the court.”

There is, of course, pending in Congress a Smarter Sentencing Bill, filed by among others, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), ranking member on Judiciary. In fact, Holder praised the legislation and urged its passage — which is, of course, the way things usually work in a democratic republic.

But not in the banana republic that Holder seems to think he’s running. As long as a policy squares with Holder’s “values” then no problem. Why on earth should Congress bother coming to work?

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This article was written by the editorial board of the Boston Herald.

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