Loretta Lynch Confirmed as U.S. Attorney General After Five-Month Wait
Apr 23, 2015 11:04 AM PDT Kathleen Hunter and Del Quentin Wilber – bloomberg
Loretta Lynch was confirmed by the Senate as the first black woman to become U.S. attorney general after a five-month wait marked by partisan fights and Republican arguments that she won’t be independent enough from President Barack Obama.
The vote was 56-43. Lynch is replacing Attorney General Eric Holder, who has served in the job since Obama took office in 2009. After Obama nominated Lynch on Nov. 8, a confirmation vote was held up in part because Republicans insisted on first resolving a dispute with Democrats over an unrelated bill.
“She’s as qualified a candidate as I’ve ever seen in my time in the Senate,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. “Loretta Lynch’s confirmation this time around should have sailed through the Senate.”
The Justice Department isn’t likely to dramatically change direction under Lynch. She has worked closely with Holder on many issues and served as his top prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York. She also will have a relatively short tenure to make changes, as Obama is set to leave office in January 2017.
When Obama nominated Lynch, 55, she wasn’t expected to run into much turbulence during confirmation because of her personal biography and tenure as a tough-on-crime federal prosecutor. Still, Republicans said they were skeptical that she would be sufficiently independent from Obama, and they criticized her support for his executive actions on immigration.
April 23, 2015
Statement by the President on the Confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General
Today, the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch to be America’s next Attorney General – and America will be better off for it. Loretta has spent her life fighting for the fair and equal justice that is the foundation of our democracy. As head of the Justice Department, she will oversee a vast portfolio of cases, including counterterrorism and voting rights; public corruption and white-collar crime; judicial recommendations and policy reviews – all of which matter to the lives of every American, and shape the story of our country. She will bring to bear her experience as a tough, independent, and well-respected prosecutor on key, bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform. And she will build on our progress in combatting newer threats like cybercrime. Loretta’s confirmation ensures that we are better positioned to keep our communities safe, keep our nation secure, and ensure that every American experiences justice under the law.
Statement by the Attorney General on the Senate Confirmation of Loretta Lynch
Thursday, April 23, 2015 justice.gov
Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Loretta Lynch:
“Loretta Lynch is a gifted attorney, a consummate professional, and a dedicated public servant. I am pleased that the United States Senate has recognized her clear qualifications and the need for her confirmation as Attorney General of the United States.
“At every stage of her career, Loretta has earned the trust and high regard of allies and adversaries alike, both in Washington and throughout the country. She is respected by law enforcement officers, civil rights leaders, and criminal justice officials of all political stripes. In every case and every circumstance, she has demonstrated an unfailing commitment to the rule of law and a steadfast fidelity to the pursuit to justice.
“I have known and worked closely with Loretta for many years, and I know that she will continue the vital work that this Administration has set in motion and leave her own innovative mark on the Department in which we have both been privileged to serve. I am confident that Loretta will be an outstanding Attorney General, a dedicated guardian of the Constitution, and a devoted champion of all those whom the law protects and empowers. I congratulate her on her confirmation, and I look forward to all that the Department of Justice will do and achieve under her exemplary leadership
Monday, April 27, 2015
11:00 AM ET
Swearing in Ceremony for
Attorney General Loretta Lynch
U.S. Department of Justice