Loretta Lynch Confirmed As 83rd Attorney General Of The United States

President Obama Announces Loretta Lynch As His Nominee For Attorney General

After waiting 166 days since President Obama first appointed her to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General, Loretta Lynch has been confirmed as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States:

The Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch to be the next U.S. attorney general on Thursday, ending months of acrimonious debate and installing a black woman as the nation’s top law enforcement official for the first time in history.

Lynch’s nearly six-month nomination drama was fraught with controversy — many unrelated to the veteran federal prosecutor from Brooklyn, nor her track record. Few, if any, senators challenged Lynch’s qualifications, but her legal endorsement of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration triggered a wave of Republican opposition.

But the lengthy delay between her nomination and eventual 56-43 confirmation vote — a delay prompted by a Senate-created drama over a human-trafficking bill — stoked allegations from Democrats, particularly black lawmakers in the House, that the historic lag had some racial overtones. She was nominated by Obama in November.

Still, the final margin of her confirmation vote was wider than expected. Just six Republicans had said they would support her before the vote, but 10 GOP senators ended up casting their ballots in favor of confirmation, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.).

As I noted last week, the delay in voting on Lynch’s nomination had little to do with her merits but was instead related to a dispute over the provisions of a human trafficking bill that has been pending in the Senate since February. Senators were able to resolve those disputes last weekend, thus clearing the way for a vote on the nomination. Presumably, Lynch will be sworn in as soon as possible.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Electroman says:

    Wow, that photo makes it look like she has a wild hair-do.

  2. David M says:

    At long last our national nightmare is over, the GOP has finally allowed Eric Holder to resign.

  3. Pinky says:

    @David M: Hey, if he’d wanted to…

  4. David in KC says:

    @Pinky: He said when he announced his resignation, he would remain on the job until a new AG was confirmed. Sounds pretty responsible to me, not to leave the highest law enforcement position un-filled until his replacement was confirmed.

  5. An Interested Party says:

    At long last our national nightmare is over, the GOP has finally allowed Eric Holder to resign.

    Yes, such responsible governing from Republicans…they bitched and moaned about this guy and yet they dragged their feet in allowing for a confirmation vote for his successor…

  6. Paul Hooson says:

    I don’t see where she is a controversial figure, that 43 senators should vote against her.

  7. David M says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    Especially when those 43 are nearly unanimous in their agreement that they wanted Eric Holder replaced.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paul Hooson: She’s black and a woman, can’t get any more controversial than that.

  9. James P says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Have you ever said anything critical about Condi Rice? If so you are a racist.

    Democrats voted against Janice Rogers Brown for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. They must have done so because they’re racist misogynists, right?

    JR Brown would be my first choice for President Walker to nominate to replace RB Ginsberg.

  10. James P says:

    Have you ever said anything critical about Dirty Rice? If so you are a racist.Because it is a New Orleans tradition and very good.

    Democrats voted against James Brown for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals because of the way he treated his band members. But I say James Brown is a genius.

    James Brown would be my first choice for President Walker to nominate to replace RB Ginsberg if her were alive because 1) He’s the hardest working man in (dead) show business and 2) He’s black so I’m not a racist. There you go.

  11. Pinky says:

    @An Interested Party: Well, come on. If someone’s doing a job you don’t like, is it your responsibility to make any political deal you can in order to get the chance to vote in favor of someone else you don’t like as soon as possible, solely to accommodate his time schedule? I doubt you’d approve of the Dems hopping through even one of those hoops if the story were reversed.

  12. Pinky says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You do your side a disservice with such an inane comment. As the never-popular James P points out, parties vote for nominees based on politics far more than on sex or race, if they even consider the last two at all.

  13. michael reynolds says:


    And you reach that conclusion based on what, exactly?

    The two things a human being notices first about another human being? Race and sex. This is hard-wired into the human mind. It’s the product of a long evolution: recognize the stranger as stranger, and recognize opportunities for procreation.

    Or did you think it was coincidence that the only US President ever to have his citizenship questioned happened to be black? What do you think that is, Pinky? Why does the Republican mind immediately go to, “He’s not one of us”? And even in the face of absolutely definite proof, Republicans still will not accept the fact that Mr. Obama is an American, that he is “Us” and not “them.”

    Why, Pinky? Why is it that GOP voters still insist that the 44th president, uniquely in history, is not one of us?

    People who claim sex and race are irrelevant know nothing about people.

  14. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: I did say “votes on nominees”. I was talking about the Senate. You can have your own suppositions about how other people’s minds work, but you can’t look at the Senate and see a pattern of confirmations and rejections based on sex or race, but on ideology (and too rarely, competence). I do think that one of the parties does judge people by skin color, though. A hateful party. I’m proud I’m not a member.

  15. michael reynolds says:



    Colin Powell’s former chief of staff says the Republican Party is “full of racists” who only want President Obama out of office because he’s black.

    “Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists,” Col. Lawrence Wilkerson said Friday on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show.” “And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable.”

    Now, why do you suppose a good Republican, a former Army officer, would believe that?

    Do I need to link to the dozens of examples of GOP officials passing around racist emails? Do I have to link to the lame apologies of all those who’ve been caught? Do I have to walk you back to the Southern Strategy and Lee Atwater?

    This Republican racism coupled with racism denial is sickening. It is the moral equivalent of Holocaust denial. It’s the Big Lie, and you’re one of the people repeating it.

    Now, you may not be even the slightest bit racist. But your party is. And you’re a mouthpiece for denial. You are helping to retard race relations. You’re allying yourself with evil men who hold evil beliefs.

  16. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: The shift in the Southern voting was an ongoing thing, from the 1930’s. It fully blossomed in 1994. It had little to do with racism. The current Democratic Party has everything to do with racism, sexism, class anger, every way that they can think of to split people into peoples. To deny that is to deny the obvious. You’re retarding race relations, allying yourself with people who hate black people, white people, all people as individuals but think they can control them as groups. There are two competing visions: success for all, or short-term territorialism leading to long-term destruction. You’ve chosen the latter – not in those terms, but in fact.

  17. michael reynolds says:


    Oh shut the hell up with that. The transition was under way. Jesus. Yeah, and Jews liked riding on trains.

    Lee Atwater:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “N!gger, n!gger, n!gger.” By 1968 you can’t say “n!gger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N!gger, n!gger.”

    Stop lying Pinky. Stop the Big Lie.

  18. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: You’re going to get the last word on this thread, in all likelihood, because you’re a writer. If not you, then one of the two dozen similarly-minded locals. But you’re going to be wrong. Atwater was talking about the change in politics from the populist racism (mostly Democratic, by the way) to the populism of Reagan. And he was right: some of the whites who voted for the budget cuts were voting for better times for themselves rather than better times for everyone. But the policies resulted in better times for everyone. Republicans have to work harder because we’re not appealing to the racism, sexism, et cetera that the Democrats appeal to. It is more abstract. A lot of people heard Reagan say “tax cuts help the rich and the poor” and heard “tax cuts blah blah”. I with they’d understood the message, rather than voting for the policies for selfish reasons. We already have a party of selfishness in this country; we don’t need a second one.

    And the transition was underway. Middle-class urban whites in the South turned to the Republicans early, and their numbers grew. It was in Appalachia that the Democrats held on, and still do in places like West Virginia.

    Nixon and Reagan swept the South. They also swept the North. What you have to remember (I don’t know how old you are) is what the 1960’s and 1970’s were like. The radicals of the era took over the Democratic Party. They were loud and soft on communism and rebelled against everything. Of course they lost the South, and Vermont, and Arizona, and most everywhere else. Both candidates were Californians, for crying out loud – there’s nothing less Southern than Californians. The Democrats were unpleasant people with bad ideas, unlike today when they’ve got better P.R. Of course they lost everywhere.

    Your “Southern Strategy” thesis fails to explain why the South was turning Republican for generations, why it was still largely Democratic in Congress until the 1990’s, and why the rest of the country voted the same way as the South. It also fails to explain, well, everything, but it provides comfort for the members of history’s greatest hate crime organization, the Democratic Party, who still proudly stand behind the donkey despite it continuing its racist agenda in slightly different form.

  19. Steve V says:

    I guess I’m the only one who hoped this little argument would continue.

  20. Pinky says:

    @Steve V: Internet conversations never die; they just ramble on from thread to thread.