Senate Panel Votes to Approve Loretta Lynch for Attorney General

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch arrives for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Jan. 28, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Loretta Lynch inched one step closer to becoming the U.S. attorney general Thursday when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted for her confirmation, the Huffington Post reports. Every Democratic senator voted in her favor, while Republicans were split. Now the vote will be extended to the full Senate.

Lynch's Republican critics have concerns about her support for Obama's executive actions that shielded hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants from deportation. They say that Obama acted unilaterally and question the legality of what he has done. Those measures, they argue, should have given Lynch, a U.S. attorney, pause.


"We shouldn't confirm anyone who supports the legality of the president's executive amnesty," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

Democratic senators, meanwhile, have reminded Republicans that Obama is not the first U.S. president to make use of his "executive authority to shape immigration policy," the Huffington Post explains. That argument worked for some Senate Republicans who did vote to confirm Lynch. According to the Huffington Post, they disagree with their GOP peers in the Senate who are making a fuss over whether or not Lynch supports Obama in that area.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) went so far as to call those concerns "ridiculous," noting that while he hasn't always been a fan of the president's policies and the strategies used to implement them, that has no bearing on whether Lynch is qualified to be the nation's attorney general. "No senator has opposed the president's overreach more than I have," Hatch said. "I have concluded that Ms. Lynch's full record, including but hardly limited to her hearing testimony, shows that she is qualified to serve as attorney general."

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), for his part, is flabbergasted that the vote to confirm Lynch is just now being extended to the full Senate. "I've been here for 40 years, and no attorney general … has ever had to wait this long for a vote," Leahy said.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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