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It’s about time.

After five months in political limbo, Loretta Lynch was confirmed Thursday as the first African American female U.S. Attorney General and will lead the Justice Department at a time when police-related killings of unarmed black men has erupted into a national crisis.

Lynch, 55, who was subjected to the longest wait for an Attorney General nominee since the Reagan administration, will begin her new job Monday, replacing Attorney General Eric Holder who will say goodbye to his staff on Friday.

“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 Thursday. “Loretta’s confirmation ensures that we are better positioned to keep our communities safe, keep our nation secure, and ensure that every American experiences justice under the law.”

Obama has demonstrated his ability to push through historic Black appointments. Holder was the first African American Attorney General and Lynch is the first Black female to head the Justice Department. Rev. Al Sharpton called Lynch’s appointment “a game changer.”

Republicans have been delaying Lynch’s confirmation for months, a decision mired in political madness. What strikes me as totally dysfunctional is this: For years, Republicans have insisted that Attorney General Eric Holder was the wrong person to lead the Justice Department, arguing that he should be removed. But for the past five months, Republicans had the chance to replace Holder and did nothing.

Many civil rights activists and African American legislators pointed to race as the reason Lynch’s nomination was stalled.

“Loretta Lynch is a gifted attorney, a consummate professional, and a dedicated public servant,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Thursday.  “I am pleased that the United States Senate has recognized her clear qualifications and the need for her confirmation as Attorney General of the United States. She is respected by law enforcement officers, civil rights leaders, and criminal justice officials of all political stripes,” Holder said.  “In every case and every circumstance, she has demonstrated an unfailing commitment to the rule of law and a steadfast fidelity to the pursuit to justice.”

Loretta Lynch Is Finally Confirmed: What Can She Accomplish?  was originally published on

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