United States Attorney General

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current Attorney General, Eric Holder

The United States Attorney General is a Cabinet member in charge of the Department of Justice and as such, is often considered the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America. However this has changed in the last decade with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, as many of the bodies traditionally overseen by the Attorney General are now under the purview of the Secretary of Homeland Security. Despite this decrease in power, all prosecutorial power has been retained and the Attorney General supervises all United States Attorneys. The current Attorney General is Eric Holder who has served since 2009 when he succeeded Michael Mukasey. By virtue of office, Holder is 7th in the presidential line of succession. Holder is the first African American to become Attorney General.

The position of Attorney General has a long history and was one of the first four Cabinet positions created by George Washington, who appointed Edmund Randolph as the first occupant.

Attorney Generals of the United States

Name Term of Office
Edwin Meese III February 25, 1985 August 12, 1988
Richard Thornburgh August 12, 1988 August 15, 1991
William Barr November 26, 1991 January 20, 1993
Janet Reno March 12, 1993 January 20, 2001
John Ashcroft February 2, 2001 February 3, 2005
Alberto Gonzales February 3, 2005 September 17, 2007
Michael Mukasey November 9, 2007 January 20, 2009
Eric Holder January 26, 2009