U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch of NYC Surfaces as Potential Attorney General Replacement

A new candidate has emerged to replace Eric Holder as the U.S. Attorney General, media outlets report. Her name is Loretta Lynch, and she is currently a U.S. Attorney based out of Brooklyn.

News reports have pinned the likely nomination on her, though White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday morning that, “The president has not made a decision… we’re not going to have any personnel announcements.” Either way, President Obama is expected to make an official announcement when he returns from Asia, where he is traveling this week.

Ms. Lynch, 55, is a Harvard graduate and has served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York since she was appointed there by Obama in 2010. She served in this same position under the Clinton administration from 1999 to 2001. If nominated, Lynch would become the first African American woman to hold the Attorney General title.

“She has everything that we would want in an attorney general,” said Brooklyn D.A. Kenneth Thompson. “She has intelligence, dignity, and the ability to be fair, but also tough.”

In regards to marijuana law reform, Lynch has never voiced a real opinion one way or the other. She has, however, expressed progressive ideals in regards to the War on Drugs and the modern failings of our judicial system overall. In 2001, she said on the PBS News Hour, “I do think that there were a lot of issues that went on with the war on drugs — its inception and the way it was carried out.” And more recently, at a 2013 event at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, she claimed, “Arresting more people or building more jails is not the ultimate solution to crime in our society. If there’s one thing we’ve learned it is that there is no one solution.”

Savvy observers have noted that President Obama is faced with a growing urgency to nominate Holder’s replacement because the Senate will soon be controlled by Republicans, and finding a candidate agreeable to both the president and a GOP majority Congress could be extraordinarily difficult.

One of Ms. Lynch’s most prominent cases of her career was a 1997 case against several New York City police officers who beat and sexually abused Haitian immigrant Abner Louima, in which Lynch secured hefty prison sentences — some as long as 30 years — for those involved in the attack. More recently, Lynch indicted Republican Representative Michael Grimm on charges of tax fraud, a case which could result in some touchy political navigation if the GOP makes moves to stop Lynch’s nomination.




Photo Credit: United States Mission Geneva

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