The Attorney General (AG) is the chief legal officer of the United States. He or she is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. However, the AG works for the people. A state attorney general is elected in most states.
Eric Holder is the Attorney General. The president plans to replace him with Loretta Lynch. She is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District in Brooklyn, NY.
She has been waiting four months to be voted in, or turned down, by the Senate.
Enter the Human Trafficking bill. The bill creates a fund to help victims of human trafficking. It is widely supported. It makes women the victims of trafficking and not law-breakers.
The Senate Majority leader says the Senate will not vote on Ms. Lynch’s nomination until the Senate passes the Human Trafficking bill.
There is a catch. Republican senators want language in the Human Trafficking stating that any fines collected by the U.S. could not be used to pay for abortions.
This language has nothing to do with the Human Trafficking bill or the nomination of Ms. Lynch. It has been inserted to create a problem.
Democrats in the Senate demand the language limiting the use of fines be removed. Republicans say it is not a “real change” from existing law. If it is not a real change, why do the Republican insist upon keeping it in the language? There is no good answer. It is just politics.
Meanwhile, what about Ms. Lynch? At first, her confirmation appeared likely. Now, not so likely. She supports President Obama on his immigration reforms. More Republicans are hinting that her support for the reforms will be a reason not to vote for her.
Would President Obama nominate an attorney general who disagreed with him on immigration? The answer is no.
And so the nation goes.