Today’s Senate confirmation of Loretta Lynch as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States is truly historic and long overdue. Ms. Lynch will be the first African-American woman ever to lead the Department of Justice. LDF, which strongly supported the nomination, is relieved that the unprecedented delay in her confirmation vote—lasting more than 5 months—is finally over and that Department of Justice may continue its important work under Attorney General Lynch’s leadership.
The Department of Justice has long stood as a beacon for equality and justice. It represents our nation’s collective commitment to fair enforcement of the rule of law, and to ensuring equal opportunity in every facet of society. For nearly six decades, LDF has worked alongside the Department and its “crown jewel,” the Civil Rights Division, to ensure that our nation lives up to its promise of equality for all. LDF looks forward to working with Attorney General Lynch to preserve and protect democracy, equality and opportunity—ideals at the core of LDF’s work.
Ms. Lynch, who has impeccable credentials and has amassed an extraordinarily impressive record in two turns of service as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, takes office at a moment of incredible importance for the future of racial justice. As our nation confronts a crisis in policing fueled by unabated incidents of violence and bias by police officers against African Americans, it is critical that someone with Loretta Lynch’s combination of law enforcement experience and commitment to racial justice now lead the Department. LDF stands ready to assist the new Attorney General in reducing racial bias in policing, implementing fair sentencing reform, and protecting the right to vote for every American.
“Loretta Lynch is the right person at the right time for the job, with the stakes elevated as they are with the rash of police-involved shootings of unarmed African-American civilians and the dramatic uptick in restrictions on the right to vote since the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. “She will put her two most valuable assets to work – leadership and judgment – to ensure that our nation more fully realizes its promise of equality and opportunity for all.
“The historic significance of Ms. Lynch’s confirmation cannot be overstated” said Leslie Proll, Director of the Washington, DC office at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. “Her confirmation should not have been this difficult; Congress should now extend considerable good will to the Attorney General as she faces the immense challenges at the helm of the Department.”
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is not a part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) although LDF was founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. Since 1957, LDF has been a completely separate organization. Please refer to us in media attributions as the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund or LDF.