Loretta Lynch has been confirmed as the next U.S. Attorney General, and will be the first African-American woman to hold the post.
She was confirmed by a 56-43 vote, with the support of all of the chamber's Democrats as well as 10 Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois. The vote on Lynch's nomination for the position was a long time coming as Obama announced his desire to see her take the job back in November. Republicans reportedly stalled the vote to get back at President Obama for his immigration reform executive orders, which Lynch said she would support. The executive orders are currently tied up in the legal system as a result of lawsuits filed by 26 states against the rules.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) released a statement expressing his thoughts on the confirmation vote and the length of time it took to take place.
"Loretta Lynch is without question one of the finest cabinet nominees I've had the privilege to vote for during my time in the Senate," Durbin said. "She is extraordinarily qualified for the job and will be an exceptional Attorney General. That her nomination was delayed by Senate Republicans for a record 167 days is an embarrassment to the United States Senate. But I am focused on the positive history made here today: that we have confirmed an outstanding nominee who will be America's first African American woman to lead the United States Department of Justice."
Lynch, who will replace outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, was most recently a leading federal prosector in Brooklyn.