Pictured are U.S. President Barck Obama (wearing green tie), U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (in Black suit), Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio (D-11) (in bluish-green suit), Congressman and Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina (D-1) (in red tie), NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President and Director-counsel Sherrilyn Ifill (in red suit with long hairdo), National Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. President Dr. Paulette Walker (in red suit with short hairdo), and GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (R-KY) (in blue tie).
By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News.Com, and the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper and newspaper blog. Tel: (216) 659-0473.
Coleman, who is Black, is a 22-year investigative journalist and political and legal reporter who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-Following the longest confirmation delay for U.S. attorney general since Edwin Meese in 1985, Loretta Lynch, formerly the United States attorney for the eastern district of New York, was confirmed by the Senate on April 23 as the nation's first Black female attorney general.
The Senate voted 56-43 to confirm Lynch, with 10 Republican senators supporting the measure. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) of Kentucky was not among them, and was among 43 Republicans senators that opposed the nomination.
U.S. Rep Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, National Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. President Dr. Paulette Walker, and Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told Cleveland Urban News.Com (www.clevelandurbannews.com)earlier this month during a press conference call that they had had enough of GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's harassment of Lynch relative to the confirmation delay.
Fudge, Butterfield, IfIll and Walker, all of whom are Black, accused McConnell, of Kentucky, of stalling a vote by the U.S. Senate on Lynch and had said that the conservative White Republican, a senior member of Congress, is anti-Black, anti-female, and against President Barack Obama, America's first Black president.
On Thursday, Fudge said that she is pleased with Lynch's confirmation.
"I am elated Attorney Loretta Lynch now has the opportunity to lead the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and will continue her outstanding service to our nation," said Fudge, a Warrensville Heights Democrat whose largely Black 11th congressional district includes suburban territories and parts of the cities of Cleveland and Akron, a city some 35 miles south of Cleveland. "Her confirmation is historic."
Fudge said that Lynch, a New York federal prosecutor from 2010 until her confirmation and the country's 83rd attorney general, "is as qualified today as she was 166 days ago, bringing preeminent skills and experience to the position."
President Barack Obama nominated Lynch, 55, last November to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder, the country's first Black attorney general.
"Today, the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch to be America's next attorney general, and America will be better off for it," Obama said in a a press statement issued shortly after the Senate, on yesterday, confirmed the nomination of Lynch.
The U.S. attorney general, as the nation's chief law enforcement official, leads the Department of Justice (DOJ), is nominated by the president, and must subsequently be confirmed by the Senate.
Republicans control both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, and only gained control of the Senate in elections last November.
McConnell had said that he would delay a vote on Lynch until the Senate completes consideration of an unrelated bill to fight human trafficking, proposed legislation that Democrats will not support because it contains an anti-abortion provision. He was also angry over Obama's executive actions on immigration reform. But he softened, and Lynch has made history as the nation's first Black female attorney general.
Lynch's roughly five months confirmation delay is second in more than three decades among 82 prior attorney generals confirmed, only to Regan nominee Edwin Meese in 1985.
Meese's confirmation took 13 months as he battled questions from Senate Democrats, led by then Sen. Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio, that as a White House official he failed to disclose that he handed out federal jobs to people he had financial relationships with, among other allegations of ethical violations that were ultimately disregarded.