Wednesday 7 December 2022
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Lynch Supporters Lobby Senate Intensely This Week

Silhouette_manBy James Wright

( – African-American and civil rights organizations are in full lobbying mode to push for the confirmation of Loretta Lynch to be the nation’s next attorney general.

The NAACP, in conjunction with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCR) and a number of other rights organizations, set up a toll free number, 1-866-338-5720 that their members could use on March 11 and March 12, known as “Call-In Days,” to contact U.S. senators to vote to confirm Lynch soon. Lynch’s nomination has been stalled for months, inciting pro-civil rights activists and politicians to press the Senate to proceed with the confirmation process.

It has been widely reported in the media that the Lynch vote will take place during the week that starts on March 16, though no specific date has been given at this time. Still, pro-Lynch organizations are moving forward with their lobbying efforts.

“The U.S. Senate may delay a vote beyond this week; and that’s completely unacceptable,” an “Action Alert” e-mail sent by the LCCR to its members recently stated. “Loretta Lynch, if confirmed, would be the first African-American woman attorney general. With a historic vote on the line for a highly qualified candidate, we must tell senators not to put politics ahead of progress.”

Hilary Shelton, the NAACP’s Washington bureau chief and senior vice president for policy and advocacy, said that in addition to coordinating with LCCR, his organization is making sure that its membership is “activated, educated and engaged” in the Lynch process.

On Feb. 26, Lynch’s nomination was sent to the Senate floor by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 12-8 vote. All of the Democrats on the committee supported her nomination and three Republicans, Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) voted for her also.

Shelton noted that NAACP members from North Carolina were coming to Washington to lobby that state’s two senators, Thom Tillis (R) and Richard Burr (R) to support Lynch. Tillis voted against Lynch in the Judiciary Committee and Burr has sent out signals that he plans to do the same.

Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, is a native of North Carolina with many family members who still reside there.

Shelton said that he has urged NAACP members to contact their senators through the U.S. Capitol switchboard numbers. He stressed those senators who didn’t vote for Lynch in the Judiciary Committee should continue to be lobbied for support.

“It’s possible for some committee members to change their vote to support Lynch on the Senate floor,” he said.

Thelma Daley, a past president of Delta Sigma Theta, said her fellow members had their “Call-In Day” on March 10 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. But, the organization’s leaders urged members to contact their senators to support Lynch even after March 10. Lynch is a Delta.

“We are sticking with it,” Daley said. “We are not giving up.”