Tales from the Trail

Robert Kennedy hailed on 50th anniversary of becoming Attorney General

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(Updates with remarks by Kennedy’s daughter on gun control.)

Robert F. Kennedy, who made history as attorney general in the 1960s, was remembered as one of the Justice Department’s most effective leaders who fought for civil rights and created an enduring and inspiring legacy.

Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the swearing-in of Kennedy, who was chosen to be the nation’s 64th attorney general by his brother, President John F. Kennedy.

Kennedy’s widow Ethel and other Kennedy family members were joined by civil rights leaders and current and former department officials in the building’s Great Hall to pay tribute to the late attorney general.

With a portrait of Kennedy and his old office chair on display, the current Attorney General Eric Holder told a packed audience of several hundred that Kennedy had inspired him to join the department’s Criminal Division as a young lawyer in 1976.RFK 29 - Rowe

Holder noted Kennedy’s historic efforts to integrate the University of Alabama in 1963, calling it a defining “act of courage.”

Swift confirmation seen for Obama’s attorney general pick

At least one key member of Barack Obama‘s Cabinet could be ready to be sworn into office just hours after Obama takes the oath as president on Jan. 20.

USA-OBAMA/ANNOUNCEMENTSenate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy says he’ll hold confirmation hearings early next month on Obama’s choice of Eric Holder to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer — attorney general.

Speaking to reporters after a private meeting with Holder, Leahy called the former Clinton administration deputy attorney general “a superb man” and “a prosecutor’s prosecutor.”