Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch to Replace Holder

     (CN) – U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch became the United States’ first black female attorney general Thursday after a five-month delayed vote by the Senate.
     Nominated by President Barack Obama in November to replace Attorney General Eric Holder, Lynch’s confirmation was stalled by the Republican-controlled Senate until an unrelated sex-trafficking bill was hammered out.
     The Senate Judiciary Committee first approved Lynch in February, and the vote confirming Lynch on Thursday came to a narrow 56-43.
     As the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Lynch, a Harvard Law School graduate, oversaw Brooklyn-based terror cases over the last few years.
     Lynch held this title since 2010 but did the same job from 1999 to 2001.
     Holder announced his attorney general resignation in September 2014 but said he’d hang on to the post until the Senate confirmed his successor.
     In a statement Thursday, the outgoing AG called Lynch “a gifted attorney, a consummate professional, and a dedicated public servant.”
     “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,” Holder said. “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.”
     Brooklyn district attorney Ken Thompson congratulated Lynch and called her an “extraordinary prosecutor.”
     “I have no doubt that Loretta will serve our nation with honor and distinction,” he said. “As the first-ever African American woman to serve as attorney general, this is also a proud moment in our country’s history.”
     U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, meanwhile called Lynch “unsuitable” for confirmation.
     “Bringing in a new attorney general should be turning a positive page in this country, but unfortunately the answers that Ms. Lynch gave at the confirmation hearing, in my opinion, render her unsuitable for confirmation as attorney general of the United States,” Cruz said on the Senate floor.
     Several Democrat politicians blasted the delay in her confirmation.
     “She was nominated 165 days ago, a third of a year ago, she should be confirmed by now,” U.S. Rep. and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said at a news conference Wednesday.
     Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont took to Twitter to blast the delay, with the hash-tag “ConfirmLynch.”
     “No attorney general nominee has ever been filibustered,” he wrote. “Republicans should not make history by blocking this historic nominee.”

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