The U.S. Senate approved her nomination on Thursday
Loretta Elizabeth Lynch was sworn in Monday as the nation’s 83rd U.S. Attorney General and the first African-American woman to head the U.S. Justice Department (see today’s video).
The U.S. Senate voted 56 to 43 on Thursday to confirm Lynch. When the vote was announced, ending the five-month delay, the gallery burst into cheers and applause.
All the Democratic members of the Senate voted for Lynch, 55, and so did 10 Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Today, the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch to be America’s next Attorney General – and America will be better off for it, President Barack Obama said in a statement.
“Loretta has spent her life fighting for the fair and equal justice that is the foundation of our democracy. As head of the Justice Department, she will oversee a vast portfolio of cases, including counterterrorism and voting rights; public corruption and white-collar crime; judicial recommendations and policy reviews – all of which matter to the lives of every American, and shape the story of our country,” President Obama said. President Obama nominated her for the post in November.
Lynch, who is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, succeeds Eric Holder, Jr., the first African-American man named U.S. Attorney General. Holder, who announced his resignation in September, assumed the office in 2009.
Lynch is the daughter of Lorenzo and Lorine Lynch.
She grew up in Greensboro, N.C. , the site of the Nov. 3, 1979, Greensboro Massacre in which members of the Klu Klux Klan aided by the city’s police shot and killed five protest marchers, including two physicians and a nurse who participated in a “Death to the Klan March.”
The medical personnel worked with low-income residents living in a Greensboro housing project.
Lynch graduated from Harvard College, Harvard University Law School and Harvard University