It has been 124 days since Loretta Lynch was nominated to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General. In that time, the 50th anniversary of Selma reminded us that we have a long we to go to achieve equal voting rights; Ferguson re-entered the news with a report detailing egregious racism in the police department and its repercussions; a new coalition of groups working on criminal justice demonstrated a bipartisan commitment to reform; and a moving tribute at the Grammy awards proved that these issues go far beyond politics.
In all of these issues, the Department of Justice plays a vital role. And its head, as the top law enforcement officer in the United States, leads the way. Ms. Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, is a highly qualified nominee for the position. While some Republicans used her confirmation hearing as a chance to voice their out-of-touch views on President Obama’s recent immigration action or the departing Attorney General, she excelled in answering questions and impressing a bipartisan group of Senators.
So what is the hold up? Here are 5 reasons to quit delaying and confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General.
1. She has been more than fully vetted. On top of her confirmation hearings, Lynch submitted detailed responses to 900 written questions and met individually with at least 59 senators.
2. She is a proven, well-qualified leader. Lynch has a proven record of prosecuting hate crimes and corruption, and a reputation of being committed to protecting human rights and ensuring equal opportunity.
3. She has a wide array of support. Senators from both sides of the aisle support Lynch, along with 25 former U.S. Attorneys from Republican and Democratic administrations. Rudy Giuliani said, “if I were in the Senate, I would confirm her.” Rudy Giuliani!
4. She has waited longer than any other Attorney General nominee. Loretta Lynch’s nomination has been pending for 124 days, more than a month longer than any other in history.
5. She would make history. Loretta Lynch would make history by being the first African-American woman to become Attorney General. What better way for the Senate to celebrate Women’s History Month and the legacy of Selma than to confirm Lynch.
Bonus: The movie Goodfellas was based on one of Loretta Lynch’s cases. She’s got what it takes.
BOTTOM LINE: When issues of racial inequality, voting rights, criminal justice, and more are front and center in our nation’s dialogue, it is no time to be playing games with our nation’s top law enforcement officer. Loretta Lynch has proven herself, and the Senate has had ample time to deliberate. Now its time to bring the nomination to the floor, and vote to confirm. (3/12/15- Center for American Progress – CAP)