By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, April 23, the United States Senate voted to confirm Loretta Lynch as America’s next U.S. Attorney General. U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-Selma) issued a statement congratulating Lynch on her confirmation by the US Senate.
Congresswoman Sewell said on Facebook that she, “Witnessed the historic confirmation vote of Loretta Lynch on the Senate floor with some of the women of the CBC.”
Rep. Sewell said, “Ms. Lynch will undoubtedly lead the US Justice Department with the same conviction for justice that she has shown as the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York…Loretta Lynch has waited longer for a vote than our last 7 Attorney Generals combined. I was proud to stand with members of the Congressional Black Caucus in support of Loretta Lynch.”
Both of Alabama’s U.S. Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby opposed the confirmation of Lynch.
Senator Sessions said in a speech on the floor of the Senate, “Under our Constitution, Congress was given certain powers as a coequal branch of government not only to protect the Congress as an institution, but to restrain the other branches from overreaching. One of those powers is the Senate’s power to confirm or not confirm nominees to high office…Congress must not confirm anyone to lead the United States Department of Justice who will advance the President’s unconstitutional actions. Congress has a limited number of powers to defend the Rule of Law and itself as an institution and to stop the Executive Branch from overreaching. It is unthinkable that we would ignore one of those powers in the face of such a direct threat to our constitutional order—and it is part of an escalating pattern of overreach. Every day that we allow the President to erode the powers of Congress, we are allowing the President to erode the sacred Constitutional rights of the citizens we serve. We have a duty to this institution, to the Constitution, and to the American people not to confirm someone who is not committed to those principles but rather who will continue in violation of them. For those reasons, I will oppose this nomination and I urge my colleagues, regardless of party, to do the same.”
Sen. Shelby wrote in a statement, “The Attorney General has a vast amount of power to interpret and execute the laws that govern our nation as well as a great responsibility to uphold the rule of law. I strongly opposed Ms. Lynch’s nomination today because I have serious questions regarding her ability to objectively defend the Constitution.”
Sen. Shelby continued, “I have personally expressed to Ms. Lynch that I feared she would interpret her position as the attorney for President Obama, not the United States of America. One of my greatest concerns with Ms. Lynch is her stance on the President’s action to unilaterally grant executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. The American people deserve better than an Attorney General who would allow the President to both ignore and unilaterally change our nation’s immigration laws.”
Lynch replaces Eric Holder. She is the first Black woman to hold the position of Attorney General in American history. Representative Sewell is the first Black woman to represent Alabama in the United States Congress.