In a 56 to 43 vote, the Senate has confirmed Loretta Lynch as U.S. attorney general, making her the first Black woman to hold the position. Lynch was nominated by President Obama in November after former attorney general Eric Holder announced his resignation, but her confirmation has been delayed for five months. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell postponed Lynch’s confirmation until after January, when the GOP took control of Congress, and more recently until the Senate was able to reach a bipartisan compromise on a human trafficking bill, which it did earlier this week.
Lynch received a law degree from Harvard University in 1984 and later went on to work as a prosecutor for the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York, where she’d been for 15 years prior to her appointment. Throughout her career, she has been heavily involved in international issues, prosecuting terrorists and fighting political corruption.
“I can only hope that Senate Republicans will show her more respect as the attorney general of the United States than they did as a nominee,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said to the New York Times. “She has earned this respect. Her story is one of perseverance, of grace and grit.”