Loretta Lynch Confirmed as Next Attorney General

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from The Wall Street Journal,

First black woman approved for top law-enforcement post more than five months after nomination.

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general, voting 56-43 to approve her for the nation’s top law-enforcement job at a time of intense national debates about police conduct, government surveillance and how to fight the threat of terrorism.

More than five months since she was nominated in early November, Ms. Lynch was confirmed as the first black woman to hold the job of the nation’s top law-enforcement official.

The Senate took longer to approve only two other attorneys general before Ms. Lynch, who was confirmed 166 days after President Barack Obama nominated her, according to the Congressional Research Service. She will replace Attorney General Eric Holder.

“After this extended delay, I can only hope that Senate Republicans will show Loretta Lynch more respect as attorney general of the U.S. than she has received as a nominee,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

All members of the Democratic caucus and 10 Republicans supported her confirmation. One lawmaker, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), didn’t vote.

Ms. Lynch was praised by members of both parties for her work as the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, N.Y, but some Republicans criticized her defense of Mr. Obama’s plan to bypass Congress and shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

“This nominee has given every indication she would continue the Holder Justice Department’s lawlessness,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) on the Senate floor, castigating fellow Senate Republicans for confirming her. “There are more than a few voters back home that are asking what exactly is the difference between a Democratic and Republican majority when the exact same individual gets confirmed as attorney general.”

Her supporters noted the broad range of law-enforcement and legal groups across the country who had supported her nomination.

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