Holder hopes defense of civil rights will be his legacy

That commitment has driven a series of recent decisions by the attorney general, including his denunciation of “stand your ground” laws in Florida and about 30 other states, as well as the Justice Department’s move to intervene last week in a redistricting case in which officials say Texas is threatening to marginalize minority voters. Holder has made it clear that the defense of civil rights will be the centerpiece of the remainder of his term — and, he hopes, his legacy.

“The attorney general’s plate is full of every kind of legal issue that is presented involving the United States,” said Columbia Law School professor Ted Shaw, a longtime friend of Holder’s. “But enforcing the civil rights laws is near and dear to his heart. And it has been for a long time.”…

On Monday afternoon, Holder met for 45 minutes at the White House with President Obama, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and a coalition of civil rights leaders to emphasize the administration’s commitment to ensuring full access to the polls.

Sitting at the president’s side, Holder told the group that Justice officials will try to work with Congress on a long-term fix to the section of the Voting Rights Act that was invalidated, said an official who was briefed about the meeting.

Holder also told the civil rights leaders that Justice plans to bring lawsuits against individual states to subject them to pre-clearance through the courts.