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Could Holder's resignation help Democrats keep the Senate?

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Broadening its push to improve police relations with minorities, the Justice Department has enlisted a team of criminal justice researchers to study racial bias in law enforcement in five American cities and recommend strategies to address the problem nationally, Holder said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A conservative radio host theorized Thursday that President Barack Obama could try to use the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder to help Democrats keep the Senate this fall, and that Holder's resignation may have even been timed to help produce that result.

Andrew Wilkow of the Wilkow Majority show on Sirius XM said Thursday that the resignation will allow Obama to pick a controversial nominee to become the next Attorney General, which could help motivate Democrats to run out and vote to keep Democrats in charge of the Senate. With just a handful of weeks left before the election, Democrats appear to be at great risk of losing the Senate.

Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning, a fact the White House could try to exploit in the run up to the mid-term elections. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

"I think Eric Holder is stepping down to cause a fight in the Senate right before the mid-term elections, so the president can pick somebody from the La Raza camp to take over the Department of Justice and orchestrate an amnesty program," Wilkow said.

"If he could nominate someone or start speaking of nominating someone who's going to enrage conservatives, create that wedge issue, it might give something for Democrats to rally around to save the Senate," he added.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who was a guest on the show, said he agrees that the theory makes sense.

"Pick somebody who's going to cause a stir and then you say, gee, you know, if we get the right people in the Senate, you know, this wonderful person will be confirmed," Gohmert said.

Gohmert added that officials have already said it could take some time to replace Holder, which supports the theory that the White House may want to make the case that Democrats should help keep the Senate in Democratic hands, so Holder's replacement can be confirmed.

"That gives even more credence to your theory, because they want it to spill into next year so that they can say, look, you got to let us keep the Senate or you're not going to get this great Attorney General in there," Gohmert said.

While some commentators have already speculated that it could be difficult to get Holder's replacement approved by the Senate, it won't be difficult at all under rules the Democrats are employing today. Democrats last year changed the rules so presidential nominees — except for Supreme Court judges — can be advanced in the Senate with a simple majority vote, instead of a super-majority vote.

That means Democrats can easily confirm the next Attorney General in the lame duck session later this year, if they wish.

But all of that would change if the nomination were delayed to 2015 and if Republicans win back the Senate. Then, Republicans would have the power to shut down any nominee they don't support.

In the meantime, some Republican senators are also saying the Senate should wait until next year to confirm a new Attorney General, calls that likely reflect the expectation that Republicans will run the Senate by then.

"To ensure that justice is served and that the Attorney General is not simply replaced with another extreme partisan who will likewise disregard the law, the Senate should wait until the new Congress is sworn in before confirming the next Attorney General," said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). "Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder's successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced."

"Rather than rush a nominee through the Senate in a lame duck session, I hope the president will now take his time to nominate a qualified individual who can start fresh relationships with Congress so that we can solve the problems facing our country," added Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

One last thing…
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