Loretta Lynch confirmed as attorney general today; S.C. senators split

In this Jan. 28 file photo, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch appears on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lynch was confimed today.

South Carolina’s two Republican U.S. senators split their votes on Loretta Lynch, who was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General today.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham supported her, while U.S. Sen. Tim Scott voted against her.

“The best thing for the country is to have a new Attorney General and close the book on Eric Holder,” Graham said.

Lynch, whose nomination has been on hold for five months, is the first African American woman to hold the job.

The vote was 56-43. At least six Republicans supported her.

Graham added, “I also believe presidents should have latitude in picking nominees for their Cabinet, and Ms. Lynch is well-qualified for the job. My goal is to have a Republican president nominate the next Attorney General so we will not be forced to choose between Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.”

Scott issued a statement saying he questioned her ability to be impartial.

“At the end of the day, Ms. Lynch demonstrated that she will not be the independent voice that our country needs at the Department of Justice, and therefore I cannot support her confirmation to become the next Attorney General,” he said.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551