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Loretta Lynch Confirmed as Attorney General Nominee, Faux Civil Rights Groups Hail Lynch's Elevation

janklow
janklow god's lonely man.Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
a couple of questions based on this article:
After months of delays, the Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general by a vote of 56-43. Republicans had delayed the vote numerous times over unrelated issues. Jeb Bush, a likely Republican presidential candidate, urged the Senate to defer to President Obama's choice of Lynch as attorney general, arguing that president's should be able to pick who they want. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), an announced Republican presidential candidate and one who's arguably engaged civil liberties issues more than most politicians in either party, opposed Lynch's nomination early on, citing her aggressive use of civil asset forfeiture and her refusal to take a stand on the legality of executive drone strikes. Paul also took issue with Lynch's support of President Obama's various executive immigration directives.

But if you listened to groups like "The Leadership Conference," which calls itself a "civil and human rights coalition," Lynch's confirmation is a victory for civil liberties by mere virtue of her race, gender, and party affiliation. An excerpt from their press release:

"After more than 165 days and countless meetings, marches, prayer vigils, press conferences, and hunger strikes, we're pleased that the Senate finally did the right thing by confirming Loretta Lynch to be our next Attorney General.

Attorney General Lynch made history today on two fronts: as the first African-American woman to be our nation's top law enforcement official and as the first Attorney General nominee in history required to overcome a cloture vote to be confirmed. Lynch faced this unprecedented obstruction not because of her fitness for office, but because her nomination was inappropriately used in a proxy war against the President and his policies.

While we applaud those senators who chose to judge Lynch on her merits to be Attorney General, congressional Republicans have a long way to go in proving that they can provide the necessary leadership to govern.

Lynch's confirmation has also secured the continued legacy of fair and responsible leadership at the Justice Department by Eric Holder. Her indisputable qualifications, character, integrity, and tenacity in the face of obstruction assure us she will serve the nation with distinction.

If you're having trouble figuring out what this partisan 🤬 has to do with civil and human rights, you're not the only one. Paul is a flawed candidate, as all presidential candidates are. But in his four years in the Senate, he has exhibited a commitment to the issue of criminal justice reform, partnering with Democrats and Republicans to push for the kinds of policy changes, like sentencing reform and limits on forfeiture, that would have positive effects on the actually existing civil rights of Americans.

Lynch's record is far muddier. There's no evidence she pulled back on drug prosecutions in her district. She's a big supporter of asset forfeiture. She's engaged in "secret prosecutions" on at least 58 occasions since 2010. Her office has yet to act one way or the other on the case of Ramarley Graham, who was shot and killed by a New York City police officer in 2012 after being chased over a small amount of marijuana. So Lynch doesn't even seem to hit Eric Holder levels of respect for civil rights. Holder's had his problems but under him the Department of Justice's done a relatively good job investigating local police departments for civil rights abuses, and he's finally started to make small steps toward the kind of criminal justice reforms that could have real effects on the system.

Loretta Lynch? She's a black woman and a Democrat, and that seems to be enough civil rights bona fides for some. But Lynch isn't the first black woman whose vote was delayed by partisan opposition in the Senate. Democrats did the same to Bush judicial appointee Janice Rogers Brown, the same judge who this week launched a blistering attack on the pro-police orthodoxy embedded into case law. She was opposed by Democrats, for more than two years.
01. can a group make a case for Lynch's confirmation -and let's agree that at best, the delay in confirming Lynch was extreme as her confirmation was all but assured in the face of an actual vote- is a civil/human rights victory aside from her being the first black woman AG?
02. is the qualification for "judging Lynch on her merits" simply "voted for Lynch to be AG?"

also, curious to hear why Janice Rogers Brown was so objectionable to Democrats

Comments

  • kingblaze84
    kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Damn I didn't know Loretta Lynch is a big supporter of asset seizures, it's one of the most corrupt actions the feds still do. I'm hoping she'll at least cut down on that, as Eric Holder promised to do. Otherwise I don't expect much change from her but hopefully she'll be better then Albert Gonzales was under GW
  • janklow
    janklow god's lonely man. Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    she is apparently a little more harsh on marijuana than Holder (not that i am giving him tons of credit for this):
    Ms. Lynch is not expected to push for changing marijuana laws. Under Mr. Holder, the Justice Department did not stand in the way of states that legalized marijuana. And in his final months in office, he questioned whether the government should keep marijuana on the list of the most serious drugs, in the same category as heroin. Ms. Lynch, who told aides during the confirmation process that she had never smoked marijuana, does not share that view. She told the Senate that she did not support legalization and did not agree with Mr. Obama that marijuana may not be more dangerous than alcohol.
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