By Carmen Glover
The wait for the impeccably qualified Brooklyn U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch to be sworn in as U.S. Attorney General, the top legal officer in the United States, ends today, April 27 when she is officially sworn in after her confirmation was deliberately held up by intractable Republicans for 166 days, a total of five months. Lynch becomes the first African-American female to hold the office of U.S. Attorney General, succeeding Eric Holder, who was the first African-American male in the position. Holder announced his resignation last fall but agreed to remain in office until his successor is sworn in, at the request of President Barack Obama.
Praising the confirmation, President Obama said that Lynch “has credibility with law enforcement and communities.” New York’s Senior Senator Chuck Schumer said: “I am confident she will be an exemplary attorney general and will bring disparate parts of communities across the country together, just as she did in Brooklyn.”
Citing disagreement over abortion language in a sex trafficking bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to bring Lynch’s confirmation vote to the Senate floor until Democrats came to terms with language over the bill. Mitchell ignored calls from President Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), members of the media, civil leaders and everyday Americans who were disgusted by the political grandstanding that relegated Lynch’s confirmation to the bottom of the Senate schedule.
Journalist Roland Martin of TVOne led a group of African-American men to the Capitol to demand a vote, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry demanded the vote each weekend on her show, and President Obama spoke out each chance he got. Finally McConnell heeded the crescendo of calls and scheduled the vote on Thursday, April 23, when Lynch was promptly confirmed.
A relieved outgoing US Attorney Holder, who has been wearing ‘Free Eric Holder’ hand bands, said at a press conference on Friday, “I think we can officially say that Eric Holder is free,” as he threw the bands into the crowd. Addressing the issue of the Justice Department’s role in investigation police brutality and racial cases he said: “We are a nation that incarcerates too many people for too long and through the work of people in this department we are starting to reverse that trend.”
Her swearing-in has been a long time coming for the distinguished legal eagle who has been confirmed by the Senate twice before. Lynch was confirmed with a vote of 56-43, with ten Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues in supporting her. Senator Ted Cruz, who lobbied fellow Republicans to vote against Lynch because she said she supports the President’s executive orders on immigration, skipped the confirmation vote.–OnPointPress.net.