At long last, Eric Holder can go enjoy his retirement because we have a new Attorney General. The U.S. Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch today in a 56-43 roll call after a ridiculously protracted and needlessly politicized delay. The Republican senators who voted for Lynch are Susan Collins of Maine, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Rob Portman of Ohio and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Sens. Flake, Graham, and Hatch had approved her previously, in their roles as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That was way back in late February. Of course, President Obama announced Lynch’s nomination in November and she had to wait until January to even get a hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee.
So far, no Republicans that I am aware of have come up with any substantive objection to Lynch based on her career or credentials. In fact, most have praised her. Despite this, 43 of them just voted not to confirm her.
It’s interesting to note that McConnell, who orchestrated this delay, ultimately did vote to confirm her. But he was the only member of the leadership team to do so. Sens. Cornyn (Majority Whip), Thune (Conference Chair) Barrasso (Policy Conference Chair) and Blunt (Conference Vice-Chair) all gave her the thumbs down.
Why did they use abortion language in a human trafficking bill to delay her confirmation vote?
They offered a variety of reasons, including simple spite, revenge for Harry Reid’s invocation of the Nuclear Option, the president’s alleged lawlessness on immigration policy, abortion politics, and probably some other deranged conspiracy theories. But what they didn’t offer was anything specific to the nominee, unless it was a willingness on her part to serve as the chief law enforcement officer in a lawless administration.
So the dreaded Eric Holder can leave the stage now, but how long before the right begins trying to “Fast & Furious” the new attorney general?