President Obama’s nominee for a successor for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has today gained the support of the Senate Judiciary committee, opening the door for her likely confirmation by the full Senate in the coming two weeks. Several Republicans, including Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) and Sen. John Cornyn are reported as saying they would oppose Lynch’s nomination in retaliation for the President’s executive action on immigration. The daughter of a school librarian and a Baptist minister, Lynch, if appointed, will be the first African-American woman to be the U.S. Attorney General of our nation.
The details of the outcome of today’s meeting of the Senate Judiciary committee are covered in the Washington Post’s article by Sari Horowitz, as follows:
“By a vote of 12 to 8, the committee approved the nomination of Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as the first African American woman to take the reins of the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced in September that he would step down as soon as the Senate approved a new nominee. Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) voted with the committee’s nine Democrats to approve Lynch’s nomination. ”
Lynch is currently the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. A resident of Brooklyn, she is a woman in her mid-50s, often described as low-key in her manner. She has a husband and two step-children. Lynch also finds time for community service. A highlight of her commitment to human development and law is the pro bono training she provided to legal counsel in Rwanda in 2005, in order to help restore justice after the genocide. President Bill Clinton first appointed Lynch to be a U.S. Attorney in 1999, and she served until 2001. She was appointed again by President Obama in 2010. In between her terms, she was a partner at the prestigious global law firm Hogan Lovells, where she focused in their New York office on criminal litigation and white collar criminal defense.
The Wall Street Journal reported last July that Lynch’s “mother, Lorine Lynch, was a school librarian and filled their home with literature. Her father, Lorenzo Lynch, was a fourth-generation Baptist minister. His sermons tended toward the thought-provoking but he could go ‘fire and brimstone’ when necessary, she said.”
Time Magazine’s Charlotte Alter, in her Nov. 7, 2014 article, titled “Who is Loretta Lynch?,” describes the next U.S. Attorney General as a not only a Harvard graduate but a person committed to repairing the world,
“Lynch grew up in North Carolina, and was one of the only black students in her elementary school. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, she recalls being asked to re-take a standardized test after she scored higher than administrators expected. She went on to Harvard, where she studied English and loved Chaucer, and then to Harvard Law School. After graduation she went into corporate law, but took a massive pay cut to take a job at the Eastern District, because she wanted to do something ‘meaningful.’”
Lynch is also the recipient of numerous prominent national nonprofit organizations’ strong support for this nomination, including the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). On January 28, 2015, NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger announced:
“The National Women’s Law Center strongly supports the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General of the United States. Ms. Lynch’s legal expertise, breadth and depth of experience, and commitment to equal justice and the rule of law make her exceptionally qualified to serve as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.”