Who is she?
Loretta Elizabeth Lynch, 55, was sworn by Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, April 27, 2015, as the 83rd U.S. Attorney General, replacing Eric Holder. She is the first black woman to hold the post. She was previously the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
What is the U.S. Attorney General?
The U.S. Attorney General is a member of the President’s cabinet and the head of the Department of Justice. He or she is both the top law enforcement officer and lawyer for the government. However, the Solicitor General, another high-ranking official within the Dept. of Justice, typically represents the government in front of the Supreme Court.
How is the U.S. Attorney General chosen?
The U.S. Attorney General is appointed by the President. The individual states and Washington, DC also have an attorney general, but they are elected by the voters.
Why was there controversy surrounding her confirmation?
President Barack Obama nominated Lynch in November 2014, but her confirmation was met with months-long congressional opposition. Eight Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee said they wanted more information regarding her role in settling a $1.9 billion money laundering deal with HSBC during her tenure as U.S. Attorney.
HSBC is the largest bank in Europe with reportedly the worst reputation, globally. HSBC personnel were caught laundering money to Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, as well as helping Sudan and Iran violate U.S. anti-terrorism and anti-genocide sanctions. Despite overwhelming evidence, Lynch agreed to settle, calling into question her reputation, agenda, and moral character. Other Republicans also did not want to see her confirmed because she is in favor of the President’s immigration policies.
What are her views on major issues?
- Immigration: As previously stated, she believes Obama’s actions on immigration are legal;
- Marijuana: Like Holder, she does not support the legalization of marijuana;
- Voter ID: Like Holder, she says she would continue to fight ‘discriminatory’ voter ID laws
- Death Penalty: She believes the death penalty to be racist against minority races, like blacks and Hispanics.