On Thursday, Loretta Lynch was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. She will be the first African American woman Attorney General.
She won by a vote of 56-43. Ten Republicans voted in favor of her confirmation. One of the 10 was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.).
The only member to not vote was Ted Cruz (R-TX). He had shown opposition to Lynch when she was first nominated.
However, a spokesperson for Cruz tried to dismiss any criticism by arguing that confirmation was a given and his vote was unnecessary. “If the Senate could get 60 votes for cloture, they could get 51 for final confirmation,” they said. “Cloture is the only vote that mattered,”
The majority of opposition was due to Lynch’s support of Obama’s executive action on immigration reform. Republicans have claimed some of President Obama’s action are unconstitutional while Lynch feels they are constitutional.
“The Senate must never confirm an individual to such an office as this who will support and advance a scheme that violates our Constitution and eviscerates established law and congressional authority,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). “No person who would do that should be confirmed. And we don’t need to be apologetic about it, colleagues.”
Lynch’s nomination was held up by an anti-human trafficking bill. The bill had anti-abortion language in it and that caused Democrats to hold up the bill’s process. Senate Majority Leader McConnell had said that they would not vote on Lynch until they worked through the human trafficking bill.
She is expected to start Monday, April 27th.