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Will US AG Eric Holder Recuse Himself from Online Casinos Cases?

Holder stepped aside because law firm Covington and Burling, for which he worked before joining the Obama administration, represents Clemens.

Yesterday's announcement that Attorney General Eric Holder had recused himself from the Roger Clemens perjury inquiry due to ties to his previous employer makes online gambling observers wonder if the same will happen in their case. Holder stepped aside because law firm Covington and Burling, for which he worked before joining the Obama administration, represents Clemens.

Online casino operators are pointing out that Holder's old partners also represent the NFL and the NBA, each of whom has lobbied against Internet gambling. Covington and Burling was also a former employer of William Wichterman, who used a White House position to force through the midnight rules finalizing the UIGEA.

Holder has also previously recused himself from a Justice Department probe into a Swiss bank, UBS, accused of aiding tax dodgers. Holder had also worked as a lawyer for the bank.

While Holder has not shown the fervent animosity toward online gambling the Bush DoJ displayed, Covington and Burling's clients certainly have. Holder did tell Senator Jon Kyl that he would continue the fight against Internet casinos.

With many broad factors of society aligned to support regulation of online gaming, gambling analysts believe only artful politicking by special interests can forestall the licensing of online casinos. Even if Holder doesn't have a bias against Internet gambling, he might need to step aside once again to remove any hints of conflict of interest.

Published on March 12, 2009 by TomWeston

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Recent Comments

Posted by: DBWhen: 03/12/2009 02:29:30 PM EST
Attorney General Holder's voluntary recusal from the cases that may pose even an appearance of conflict of interest will no doubt boost the public's confidence in the U.S. Department of Justice. We can only hope that attorneys licensed to practice law in the U.S. who refuse to uphold legal conflict of interest standards, take note of AG Holder's ethical decisions.

As a non-politically connected citizen, thank you to Mr. Holder and the US Depart. of Justice for showing society the way recusals support the interests of justice in a court of law.