Durbin: Absolute First Thing Senate Should Do This Week Is Confirm Loretta Lynch As Attorney General

Lynch has waited 128 days for confirmation vote since her nomination was announced

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, praised the qualifications of historic Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch today during a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate. He urged Senate Republicans to uphold their promise of holding a vote on Lynch’s nomination this week. Lynch passed the Judiciary committee on a bipartisan vote on February 26th, but her nomination has now been pending on the Senate floor for 18 days – the same number of days that the last five Attorney General nominees combined waited on the Senate floor for their vote.

A transcription of Durbin’s remarks from the Senate Floor on Loretta Lynch is available below:

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): The first thing we should do this week – the absolute first thing we should do – is approve the President's nominee to be Attorney General.


Loretta Lynch appeared before our Judiciary Committee. Senator Hatch was there and I think he may even concede what I’m about to say. No one laid a glove on this magnificent lady. A prosecutor with a spotless record, an African -American with a life story about witnessing the civil rights movement as it unfolded in this country in the 1960's. An extraordinarily good, good person. Good family, good background, impeccable credentials. There wasn't a single thing said about her that would stop anyone for voting for her. And now she sits on the calendar – 128 days. They’re trying to set a record on the Republican side. No nominee for Attorney General has languished on the calendar that long in the last 30 years. If they had some legitimate complaint against this lady, let them say so. Their complaint? She was chosen by President Barack Obama. That's not good enough.


This week let us rise above the politics which have dominated the scene here in the Senate since this session has begun. Let us do something constructive, approve this Attorney General, take the offensive section out of this bill and move the bill for passage. We could get it done in a matter of hours. I yield the floor.


Lynch has the support of a broad range of individuals and organizations, including law enforcement and prosecutor associations and Democratic and Republican U.S. Attorneys such as former Northern District of Illinois U.S. Attorneys Patrick Fitzgerald and Scott Lassar. Lynch currently serves as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, a position she has held since 2010. A photo of Senator Durbin’s meeting with Lynch following her nomination is available here.


At Lynch’s nomination hearings, Durbin discussed voting rights and criminal justice reform with the nominee. During the hearing, Durbin asked Lynch about numerous state laws that are making it harder for hundreds of thousands of elderly, disabled, minority, young, rural, and low-income Americans to exercise their right to vote. Video of Durbin’s remarks during the hearing is available here.


Durbin has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee for 16 years. He is also the Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, formerly known as the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over all constitutional issues.