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Editorials blast Tillis for misunderstanding his role in Lynch confirmation

Both the Greensboro News & Record and Raleigh’s News & Observer take Senator Thom Tillis to task this morning for his “‘no” vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday on the confirmation of Attorney General nominee (and North Carolina native) Loretta Lynch.

Lynch’s one-time hometown paper, the News & Record pus it this way:

tillis-newsandrecord“Thom Tillis said it was his most difficult decision in 45 days as a U.S. senator to oppose Greensboro native Loretta Lynch’s confirmation as attorney general.

It didn’t seem hard for him at all. While he made condescending comments about Lynch’s family ‘beaming with pride’ at her confirmation hearing last month, noting ‘she was raised right,’ he was clearly against her from the start….

Lynch was ‘raised right’ in Greensboro and Durham. She was raised in a family that participated in the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. It is disappointing but not surprising, given his record as a state legislator, that Tillis has little appreciation for those experiences and how they would shape Lynch’s views today.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona joined Judiciary Committee Democrats in voting for Lynch’s confirmation. The favorable vote of 12-8 will move the nomination to the Senate floor. It’s a shame that Tillis, Lynch’s home-state senator, couldn’t join those 12.”

And here’s the N&O – which blasted Richard Burr as well:

“Beyond being wrongheaded about the confirmation process, Tillis and Burr are simply classless in standing against Lynch. An African-American who grew up in Durham as the daughter of a minister and a librarian, Lynch is a North Carolina success story. She distinguished herself by earning undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, in private practice and as United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York. If confirmed, she would be the first black woman to hold the office of Attorney General of the United States….

Senators are impressed with Lynch’s credentials, her demeanor and her judgment. Other Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, including Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch and Jeff Flake, voted for her. Yet the junior senator from North Carolina voted against her, putting himself in league with tea party Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Burr promptly said, ‘Me, too.’

Burr and Tillis think Lynch is unworthy of approval because she will not drop the Justice Department’s suit against a new North Carolina election law. The law, quickly approved once the U.S. Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act, is one of the most restrictive such laws in the nation. It requires a photo ID to vote, tightens registration rules and cuts back early voting.

If Tillis and Burr think the law is legal, they have nothing to fear from a court challenge. Either they’re worried that the law is vulnerable or they simply oppose anyone with the audacity to disagree with them.

Fortunately, Lynch appears likely to be confirmed despite the crass opposition from both senators of her native state.”

 

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