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10 Republicans vote for Obama’s AG nominee over vocal objections of Sessions and Shelby

Newly-confirmed U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (photo c/o US Mission Geneva)
Newly-confirmed U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (photo c/o US Mission Geneva)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder as head of the Justice Department, in a 56-43 vote.

Ten GOP members sided with every Democrat to approve Ms. Lynch, both Alabama Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby voted no.

Here are the ten GOP Senators who voted for Lynch’s confirmation:

Kelly Ayotte (NH), Thad Cochran (MS), Susan Collins (ME), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), Orrin Hatch (UT), Ron Johnson (WI), Mark Kirk (IL), Mitch McConnell (KY), and Rob Portman (OH).

“We do not have to confirm someone to the highest law enforcement position in America if that someone has committed to denigrating Congress,” Sessions said on the Senate floor Thursday. “We don’t need to be apologetic about it, colleagues.”

The vote was made possible after GOP leadership struck a deal to allow a vote on an anti human trafficking bill that had been filibustered by Democrats for months because it barred federal funds from being used for abortion.

Loretta Lynch will be the first African American woman to serve as U.S. Attorney General.

During an interview with Yellowhammer Radio in March, Sen. Shelby unequivocally said he would not support Lynch’s confirmation due to her support of President Obama’s “executive amnesty.” Shelby fulfilled that promise with his “no” vote on Thursday.

“I believe the Attorney General of the United States should look at the law of the land, not just be loyal to the President,” Sen. Shelby said. “She’s not the President’s personal attorney. She would be, if she’s confirmed, the Attorney General of the United States; they’re supposed to be the chief law enforcement officer and she would be looking the other way as he’s breaking the law, as I see it.”

Kentuckians, however, were not as lucky as citizens of the Yellowhammer State. During his reelection campaign, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell made a promise to his constituents that he would not vote for any nominee who supports the President’s executive actions on immigration.

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