Eric Holder is expected to resign from his position as U.S. attorney general, although that may not take effect for months. NPR reports that according to its sources, the nation’s top attorney wants out as soon as possible so that he doesn’t feel locked into staying for the rest of President Obama’s second term in office.

US Attorney General Eric Holder Resigns

Holder to step down

Eric Holder reportedly plans to resign after the next attorney general is confirmed. That process could stretch through the rest of this year and into next year, however. A former government official reportedly said he has been more and more “adamant” about leaving the post.

He is one of President Obama’s longest serving cabinet members and the fourth-longest tenured attorney general ever.

Holder’s controversial comments

The U.S. attorney general’s tenure has been marked not only by advances in civil rights, but also battles with Republican lawmakers and some controversial comments. For example, in a speech he gave in 2009 for Black History Month, Eric Holder called the U.S. “a nation of cowards” in terms of talking about racial tension.

Another controversial decision he made was to try the Sept. 11 defendants in a courthouse near the site of the twin Towers. That sparked the ire of some lawmakers and the families of some of the victims. Holder ended up reversing his decision and moving the cases to military court, although there has yet to be resolution in the cases.

He also spoke out in the racially charged case in Ferguson, Mo. when a white police officer shot and killed a black teenager.

Eric Holder’s legacy

Eric Holder wants to be remembered for the work he has done on civil rights matters, however. He supports gay marriage and sued Texas and North Carolina in connection with restrictions on voting that affect seniors and minorities. He also launched 20 probes into alleged cases of police department abused and lobbied for a reduction in sentences on nonviolent drug-related crimes, many of which affect minorities.