Loretta Lynch Supporters Congratulate New Attorney General Who Endured 166 Days Delay Before Confirmation

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Loretta Lynch is U.S. Attorney General after long delay

After enduring the third longest delay in the confirmation of a U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch finally got the nod from the U.S. Senate and the congratulations have come in starting with President Obama's who in a statement said, "the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch to be America’s next Attorney General – and America will be better off for it.  Loretta has spent her life fighting for the fair and equal justice that is the foundation of our democracy. As head of the Justice Department, she will oversee a vast portfolio of cases, including counterterrorism and voting rights; public corruption and white-collar crime; judicial recommendations and policy reviews – all of which matter to the lives of every American, and shape the story of our country.  She will bring to bear her experience as a tough, independent, and well-respected prosecutor on key, bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform.  And she will build on our progress in combatting newer threats like cybercrime.  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."

It took 166 days from her nomination for the Senate to confirm Lynch by a vote of 56 to 43.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, an important ally of the president, who heads the National Action Network, and who had vowed to launch a hunger strike to press for Lynch's confirmation, said: “National Action Network and I congratulate Loretta Lynch on her confirmation as the next U.S. Attorney General.  In light of the police cases that NAN is working on in North Charleston, Staten Island, Baltimore, and other cities, as well as voting rights being changed by states all over the country, her confirmation is even more important. The fact that she is the first African American woman in this office is a game changer. For her to continue the positive moves made by her predecessor Eric Holder around police reform and preserving voting rights is crucial."

He added: "We cannot let right wing forces change the direction that the justice department has been moving in the last several years. We hope that while the game has changed quarterbacks, that the goal line of equal protection under the law, police reform, and voting rights for everyone, will remain unchanged. Ms. Lynch has an impeccable record as a leading prosecutor, confirmed twice for US Attorney, nominated by the President to be the Attorney General, and will now be the first black woman Attorney General. This country has seen two consecutive historic appointments to this office. First with Eric Holder as the first African American U.S. Attorney General and now with Ms. Lynch both under the leadership of our nation’s first African American President.  I was at the White House as a guest the day that President Obama announced her nomination. NAN along with this nation’s leading civil rights organizations has been in support of Ms. Lynch and has fought hard to see this historic day.

While Ms. Lynch waited far too long for this moment during a particularly critical time for this country, we are hopeful that she will now be supported in doing the work that we know she is capable of in moving this country forward. However, we must not forget that she was forced to wait 165 days for a vote or those senators that voted against her. We must call for an end to this type of partisanship in Washington, where qualified nominees are held prisoner for political reasons.”

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, said: “I am pleased to congratulate Loretta Lynch on her confirmation as the United States Attorney General. As the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Ms. Lynch has been a steadfast defender of justice in both civil and criminal cases; I am confident that she will continue to set the standard for excellence and integrity in public service as Attorney General. In addition to being uniquely qualified for this position, Ms. Lynch is also a trailblazer whose long overdue confirmation represents another step forward for our country. I look forward to seeing the leadership she has shown in New York benefit the American people at the helm of the Justice Department in the days to come.”

Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP, in a statement said: “We applaud the U.S. Senate for the historic confirmation of Loretta Lynch. She will serve as a relentless defender of the rights of all Americans. She will lead in situating the U.S. Department of Justice as our country’s enforcer of our civil rights. As an attorney with extraordinary depth, breath and length of service, in both the public and private sector, Ms. Lynch has successfully managed some of the most complex, diverse, and important cases in our country earning the trust and respect of those she serves. For 15 years she served as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the federal prosecutor’s office that covers nearly 8 million people in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island, New York. Under her leadership, Ms. Lynch’s office has vigorously defended the nation against terrorism and organized crime.  She successfully convicted terrorists including individuals who plotted to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank and the New York City subway system, and she has prosecuted some of New York’s most violent and notorious gang members. Her dedication to protecting civil rights and ensuring equal justice is deeply ingrained. Her commitment to public service is unwavering, as is her focus on improving the criminal justice system, recognizing that there is still much more work to be done to make it smarter and fairer. Ms. Lynch will lead the U.S. Department of Justice, and the United States, with an integrity and strength that is sorely needed at this time.”

Veteran U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), said: "I applaud the Senate's confirmation of Loretta Lynch to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder. By allowing her to become the first African-American woman to hold the post, her confirmation is an historic occasion. As Dean of New York's congressional delegation, I am exceedingly proud of Loretta Lynch's service to the people of New York and have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead the U.S. Department of Justice in tackling many of the critical issues of our time. I look forward to working with her to advance civil rights and equality for everyone in America." 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), said: “Today is an historic day as Loretta Lynch will take her rightful place at the helm of DOJ. 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. She will pour every ounce of her energy into keeping America safe, upholding the rule of law, and protecting and restoring voting rights that have been under assault for far too long.”

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), said: "After an inexcusable delay by Senate Republicans, history has been made today with the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as our next Attorney General. When this country lives up to its promise as the land of opportunity for all, it is a moment to be celebrated. Loretta Lynch is an extraordinary nominee with an extraordinary record, and she is just the Attorney General we need during these challenging times."

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said: “After a shameful, partisan delay forced on the American people by Senate Republicans, Loretta Lynch has finally been confirmed as Attorney General. She is a consummate law enforcement professional with an unparalleled track record of keeping communities safe and protecting the civil rights of the vulnerable. Ms. Lynch will make a tremendous Attorney General. Brooklyn’s loss is America’s gain.”

New York City's Mayor Bill De Blasio said: "I applaud the Senate for confirming the very capable Loretta Lynch as our nation’s next Attorney General. She will serve all Americans with the same distinction she served New Yorkers. As the U.S. Attorney for New York’s Eastern District, she prosecuted some of the toughest terrorism, fraud, and brutality cases we’ve ever seen and fought for fairness and against inequity at every turn. Her intelligence, character, experience, and unyielding pursuit of justice are exactly what this country needs. Congratulations Ms. Lynch!”

New York City Comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, said: “I am pleased to congratulate Loretta Lynch on her confirmation as the next Attorney General of the United States. She is an extraordinary lawyer and a distinguished public servant who is deeply committed to equal justice for all. Her tenure as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York has given her both the legal wisdom and broad experience needed to lead the Department of Justice as it confronts the challenges of our time. I join the chorus of proud New Yorkers who celebrate Attorney General Lynch’s historic confirmation as the first African-American women to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement officer.”

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, said: "I applaud the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as the next Attorney General of the United States. I have supreme confidence that she will be an outstanding Attorney General. She has a tireless work ethic, a wide breadth of experience and a strong commitment to public service and ensuring that all Americans will be afforded equal justice under the law. I am pleased that the Senate has finally, after a record delay, recognized her strong qualifications for the office. And because she will be the first African-American woman to lead the Department of Justice, this is a historic day for the United States, and I am proud to call Ms. Lynch our next Attorney General."

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), said the "confirmation of Loretta Lynch as our nation’s first African-American female Attorney General is both historic and long-overdue. I am disappointed that it took a nearly-unprecedented 166 days for Senate Republicans to allow a vote on the President’s nomination, but I am pleased with the outcome of today’s vote. I look forward to Ms. Lynch continuing the good work of Attorney General Eric Holder, encouraging expanded use of just commutations based on the Fair Sentencing Act, fighting to protect the civil rights and voting rights of all Americans, and focusing our limited enforcement resources on crimes that actually harm people by helping bring our nation’s outdated drug laws into the 21st century.”

U.S. Rep.  Alma S. Adams, said: “I am ecstatic the Senate fulfilled its responsibility in confirming Loretta Lynch as our next United States Attorney General. These times call for a strong and just leader in the highest law enforcement post in the nation and Loretta Lynch is more than qualified to fill that role. My colleagues and I in the House and Senate have been relentless in our support for Loretta Lynch and we are proud to see her confirmed. Although the process of moving her nomination forward has been arduous and lengthy – even though it didn’t need to be and shouldn’t have been - I applaud those who stood on the right side of history today and voted to confirm the first African American woman as our nation’s Attorney General.”

The Brooklyn (King's County, N.Y.) District Attorney Ken Thompson, said: “I congratulate Loretta Lynch on her historic confirmation as Attorney General of the United States.  I had the honor to serve with Loretta in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.  She's an extraordinary prosecutor, possesses great integrity and will be relentless in protecting the interests of the American people. I have no doubt that Loretta will serve our nation with honor and distinction. As the first-ever African American woman to serve as Attorney General, this is also a proud moment in our country's history.”

The Manhattan (New York, N.Y., County) District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., said: “Loretta Lynch is one of the finest prosecutors in the country, and as U.S. Attorney General, I have no doubt that she will uphold the highest standards of fairness in the criminal justice system. Her commitment to public safety has made her an invaluable partner to victims, communities, and law enforcement agencies throughout New York, and I congratulate her on this well-deserved appointment and confirmation.”

To see how the Senate Voted please go to naacp.org

 

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