After a wait of more than five months since President Obama nominated her to replace Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch has been confirmed by the Senate as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. The vote Thursday afternoon saw more Republicans than expected giving their approval to the controversial nominee, with ten GOP senators joining all Democrats in the upper chamber to propel Lynch into the top Justice Department post.
Still, as Fox News reports: “The vote total for Lynch was the lowest for any attorney general since Michael Mukasey won confirmation with 53 votes in 2007 after Democrats decried his refusal to describe waterboarding as torture.”
In Lynch’s case, a number of Republicans had decried her endorsement of President Obama’s executive order on amnesty. Western Journalism reported on her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, in which Lynch said she had reviewed the legal rationale behind Obama’s unilateral action to bypass the Congress and change immigration rules for millions of illegals, and she found the president’s actions to be proper and justified.
Curiously, in the same hearing, Lynch told the panel that the U.S. Constitution would be her “lodestar” in making decisions if she were to become attorney general. Many conservatives have contended that Obama’s actions on immigration, as well as Lynch’s expressed support of those executive orders, are not in line with the constitutionally mandated separation of powers.
The Senate vote to confirm Loretta Lynch clears the way for her to be sworn in as the nation’s first African-American woman to head up the Department of Justice. Lynch currently serves as a federal prosecutor in New York state.
The Hill provides a list of Republican senators who voted in favor of confirmation — a list that, surprisingly, includes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had earlier indicated he was inclined to vote against Lynch.
“Ten Republican senators broke ranks and sided with Democrats to get Lynch over the 50-vote threshold: Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Susan Collins (Maine), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Mitch McConnell (Ky.).”
The Hill points out that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who had indicated he would stand against Lynch and even delivered a floor speech earlier today opposing her nomination, missed the vote. The reason, as of this writing, is unclear.
In speaking out against the confirmation prior to the vote, one passionate GOP senator called for the confirmation of a nominee who would vow to uphold the Constitution and not support Obama’s executive action that many claim violates both the letter and the spirit of the law.
“Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) added that senators should [not] confirm someone who has ‘publicly committed to denigrating Congress [and] violating the laws of Congress.’”
It has not yet been announced when Loretta Lynch will take the oath of office to replace Eric Holder.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth