The Senate confirmation process for Loretta Lynch to become the first Black female U.S. Attorney General was never going to be a cake walk, but then again, her nomination wasn’t expected to be shot down, either.
But this is a Republican-controlled Congress and many of these conservative lawmakers are vehemently opposed to anything President Barack Obama proposes. It’s what they do – even if it jeopardizes the quality of life for their own constituents.
So now, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has become the latest Republican to announce his opposition to Lynch’s nomination, saying Lynch would be a worse Attorney General than Eric Holder. And the list is starting to grow. A full Senate vote on Lynch’s nomination is expected next month.
“Unfortunately Mrs. Lynch, through the course of the entire hearing, refused to acknowledge a single limit on the President’s authority under the Constitution,” Cruz told reporters.
It’s just more smoke-and-mirrors from hateful Republicans who have positioned Holder in the GOP crosshairs from the moment he was sworn into office.
A number of Republican lawmakers have expressed their dissatisfaction with Lynch’s offerings during her recent confirmation hearing, particularly about whether she supports the President’s recent move to defer deportation for up to five million illegal immigrants. Lynch said Obama was legally on solid ground.
Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, also announced that he would oppose Lynch, saying in a statement that Lynch “has established a clear anti-gun record” and that he “didn’t get any clear answers” from her on whether law enforcement resources should be used to “attack the Second Amendment and target legal gun industries.”
More than 20 House Republicans have already signed a letter that is being circulated by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) calling on Senate Republicans to block Lynch’s nomination.
“We appreciate Ms. Lynch for her many years of outstanding service to our nation,” the letter says. “Nonetheless, having observed her nomination hearing testimony, we can only conclude that she has no intention of departing in any meaningful way from the policies of Attorney General Eric Holder, who has politicized the Department of Justice and done considerable harm to the administration of justice.”
Still, there are nine Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee so the GOP opposition doesn’t mean Lynch’s confirmation is dead in the water – it’s not – it just means that Republicans are trying to make her ascendency to the nation’s top legal position very difficult. By sticking it to Lynch, Republicans are sticking it to Obama.
So what’s at stake?
Lynch is trying to replace U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at a time when there are a number of critical civil rights cases involving African-Americans that Holder has promised to resolve before he steps down. Lynch is the current United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Her current tenure as U.S. Attorney began in 2010, and she previously held the position from 1999−2001. As U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Lynch oversees federal prosecutions in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.
More importantly, civil rights activists are looking to Lynch to take up the mantle and continue pursuing civil rights cases — like the Michael Brown case — with the same passion that Holder has exhibited.
So as we wait to see how the Senate will vote on Lynch’s nomination — and I believe she would make an outstanding Attorney General – I should point out that Ash Carter cruised through his confirmation process to become the next Secretary of Defense after only 70 days, and Lynch, who was nominated by Obama on November 8, 2014 –more than three months ago – is still stuck in political quicksand.
Lynch’s credentials are impeccable. Her judicial experience, fairness and temperament is unquestioned. So what’s the holdup?
What do you think?