NEW ROLE: Loretta Lynch
LORETTA LYNCH has made history by becoming the first black woman in the role of US attorney general.
Following a narrow vote, Lynch’s nomination was confirmed by a senate vote of 56 to 43 yesterday (April 23). All members of the Democratic Party voted in her favour along with 10 Republicans.
In a statement, US President Barack Obama congratulated Lynch saying, "today, the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch to be America’s next Attorney General – and America will be better off for it."
He added: "Loretta's confirmation ensures that we are better positioned to keep our communities safe, keep our nation secure, and ensure that every American experiences justice under the law."
The record delay in her confirmation spanned five months and was blocked by Republicans who opposed Lynch on the basis of her support of Obama’s proposed deportation relief for up to 1.8 million undocumented migrants.
"We are deeply concerned in this country about the president's executive amnesty,” said Alabama Junior Senator. Jeff Sessions. “The unlawfulness of it, the breadth of it, the arrogance of it to the point that it's a direct assault on congressional power."
“We do not have to confirm someone to the highest law enforcement position in America if that someone has publicly committed to denigrating Congress." He added.
Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill described the tactical delays on the part of the opposition as “base, ugly politics at its worst”.
Prior to the final vote in which Lynch was confirmed she said: “What my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are saying is: you can take one of the most qualified attorney general nominees in history – doesn’t make any difference. We have a new test. You must disagree with the president who nominated you.”
Lynch, who until now was the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, will be replacing Eric Holder in her new role as the head of the United States Department of Justice.
As a US attorney, the North Carolina native has been credited for breaking up human trafficking rings, investigating government corruption, sending accused al-Qaida conspirators to prison and disassembling the mafia in the local New York region.
Lynch was first nominated on November 8 by the President, making it a total of 167 days before she was finally confirmed yesterday.
The longest previous confirmation wait for any modern attorney general was 30 days for Alberto Gonzales, who was nominated by Republican president George W Bush in 2005.