After more than five months after be nominated by President Barack Obama Loretta Lynch was finally sworn-in as Attorney General on Monday, April 27, 2015. In a ceremony helmed by Vice President Joe Biden Lynch finally replaced Eric Holder, becoming the 83rd Attorney General and the country’s first black woman to hold the position.
Vice President Biden remarked at the ceremony about the length of time it took to confirm Lynch more than 160 days after her November nomination, “It’s about time this woman is being sworn in. We got tired of the wait, but you showed such grace and humility through this entire process.”
The Senate finally confirmed Lynch on Friday, April 24 with a very close vote of 56 to 43, with 10 Republicans voted in favor of her confirmation. Although she was confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in February, her original March confirmation vote became the Senate’s GOP’s leverage with Democrats to pass a bill on human trafficking which included a restrictive abortion amendment. Once a deal was made on that bill and it passed on Wednesday, April 22, it paved the way for Lynch’s confirmation vote. The Senate then held on Thursday, April 23 a cloture vote, the first time that procedural move was used in a confirmation vote.
Lynch, 55 is a considered a tough prosecutor having served as US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Republicans mostly had reservations she would be too compliant with the president on his immigration executive actions, which they believe are unconstitutional, and would be too similar to Holder’s direction.
After the vote President Obama issued a statement commending that, the Senate finally confirmed Lynch, writing, “Today, the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch to be America’s next Attorney General – and America will be better off for it.”…. And it “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.”
Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.