Monday, April 27, 2015
(CN) - U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was sworn in Monday by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to become the first female black woman to lead the nation's Justice Department.
Biden called Lynch, whom the president nominated five months ago, "incredibly qualified" and a "first-rate, fair-minded prosecutor."
"This is an incredible moment," he added.
Lynch then swore her oath to the office on a Bible. The crowd rose and applauded.
"Well, here we are," she joked, before going on to praise her parents, husband and her sorority for their support.
"It has been the honor of my live and the privilege of my profession" she said, adding that she was "honored beyond words as we continue the core work of our mission: the protection of the American people."
President Barack Obama nominated Lynch in November to succeed Eric Holder, who announced plans to resign in September 2014.
The Senate Judiciary Committee first confirmed Lynch in February and the full Senate approved her last week by a vote of 56-43.
Disputes in the Republican-controlled body involving an unrelated sex-trafficking bill account for the five-month delay.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it's about time," Biden said, poking at the partisan delay. "It's about time that Loretta Lynch is being sworn in."
"We got tired of this," he said of the five-month delay, "but you showed such grace and such humility."
As the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, Lynch led several high-profile terrorism trials.
She vowed to continue her efforts to fight terrorism.
The Harvard Law School graduate first held the title as Brooklyn's top prosecutor from 1999 to 2001; she took the title back in 2010.
Posted by Barbara at 9:45 AM