Loretta Lynch is the 83rd US Attorney General
Yesterday, April 27th, marked a monumental moment in history; Loretta Lynn became the first African American female to be sworn in as the US Attorney General. The U.S. Senate finally confirmed her last week in a 56-to-43 vote. She is now our nation’s top law-enforcement official at a time of national debates about police conduct, government surveillance and combating terrorism.
“If there is anything you need to know about Loretta Lynch, it’s that she has excelled at everything she has done,” Vice President Biden said.
Lynch had this to say about the tensions related to police conduct; “We can imbue our criminal justice system with both strength and fairness, for the protection of both the needs of victims and the rights of all. We can restore trust and faith both in our laws and in those of us who enforce them,”
Later Monday, during her first visit to the White House as attorney general, she briefed President Obama on the situation in Baltimore where protesters had looted some stores and destroyed police patrol cars.
Throughout the day, the Baltimore situation became worse. Earlier Lynch had made reference to an unlikely personal journey that started in Greensboro, N.C. Lynch is the daughter of a Baptist minister and school librarian; during her childhood, her father would take her to the Justice Department’s fifth-floor office suite. A portrait of former attorney general Robert F. Kennedy hung just above her left shoulder at the lectern.
“We are all just here for a time — whether in this building or even on this earth,” Lynch said. “But the values we hold dear will live on long after we have left this stage. Our responsibility, while we are here, is to breathe life into them; to imbue them with the strength of our convictions and the weight of our efforts.
“I know this can be done,” she said. “Because I am here to tell you, if a little girl from North Carolina who used to tell her grandfather in the fields to lift her up on the back of his mule, so she could see ‘way up high, granddaddy,’ can become the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America, then we can do anything.”
Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath of office to Lynch at a Justice Department ceremony, calling her an “incredibly qualified” selection. He said Lynch had shown grace during the months-long confirmation process, in which her nomination was delayed in Congress amid a dispute over human trafficking legislation.
Loretta Lynch replaces Eric Holder, who left the position Friday after serving as attorney general for six years.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s about time — it’s about time this woman is being sworn in,” Biden said to applause.
We hope that Loretta Lynch will bring further progress and fairness to our country and that she can inspire many others to pursue their dreams and not give up.