Leahy Calls On Senators To Support Lynch’s Historic Nomination To Be The Nation’s Top Law Enforcement Officer

WASHINGTON (Thursday, April 23, 2015) – After an extended and partisan delay, the Senate is poised on Thursday to confirm the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as the next Attorney General of the United States. Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised the nominee’s sterling career as a Federal prosecutor and urged all Senators to support her historic nomination to be the first African American woman to lead the Department of Justice.

“Ms. Lynch recalls riding on her father’s shoulders to their church where students organized peaceful protests against racial segregation.  The freedom songs and the church music that went hand in hand with those protests undoubtedly made up the soundtrack of her childhood,” Leahy said“As Attorney General I am sure she will draw upon those childhood experiences and the struggle of her grandparents and great grandparents when addressing the current protests over too many young lives lost in our streets.”

Despite her broad support and unquestionable credentials, Lynch’s nomination has been the subject of an extended delay by Senate Republicans who have held up her confirmation vote on the Senate floor for two months.  And while Lynch has twice unanimously been confirmed by the Senate to serve as U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York, Thursday will mark the first time the Senate has forced a procedural vote on an Attorney General nominee.

After this extended delay, I can only hope that Senate Republicans will show Loretta Lynch more respect as Attorney General of the United States than she has received as a nominee,” Leahy said.  “She deserves our respect and our gratitude for being willing to continue to serve our Nation.”

Lynch’s nomination to serve as Attorney General has been pending on the Senate floor for 56 days.  She testified last month before the Judiciary Committee for nearly 8 hours, and responded to nearly 900 written questions. Her nomination to be Attorney General has broad support from law enforcement, fellow prosecutors, civil rights groups, and legal practitioners.

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