Friday, November 7, 2014

Meet Loretta Lynch

President Obama's pick for Attorney General, replacing outgoing Eric Holder, is widely expected to be US Attorney Loretta Lynch, currently Brooklyn's federal prosecutor.

Ms. Lynch, a low-profile prosecutor, has risen to the top of the president’s short list in recent days, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the nomination publicly. Officials said that a formal White House announcement could come soon, although it is unlikely to happen before Mr. Obama returns to Washington on Nov. 16 after a trip to Asia.

A Lynch nomination might carry substantial political benefits for a White House recalibrating its strategy after Republicans took over the Senate. Indeed, Ms. Lynch is a two-time United States attorney who has twice been confirmed by the Senate by acclamation – in 2000 and again in 2010. She has no personal ties to Mr. Obama or his policies, freeing her of the political baggage that has weighed down other candidates once thought to have an edge in the process.

That means that the White House would not be nominating current Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who had a brutal fight against the GOP just to get there.  On the other hand, a lame duck nomination like this will almost certainly be held up until January and a new GOP Senate if the Republicans can find a way to do it.  My guess would be intense pressure on Democrats to delay the confirmation vote, citing "the will of the people" and whatnot, as if anything done in the lame duck session is somehow illegal.

If that happens of course, Eric Holder sticks around.  We'll see how much the GOP enjoys that.

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