AG Nominee Forced to 'Sit in Back of the Bus': Senator
Dick Durbin compares Loretta Lynch to Rosa Parks in delayed confirmation
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2015 8:52 AM CDT
In this Jan. 28, 2015, file photo, attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch appears on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – Loretta Lynch is on the Senate back burner, waiting for confirmation as the new attorney general since her November nomination—first due to stalling over the president's immigration order, now over a human-trafficking bill, notes the Washington Post—and Sen. Dick Durbin isn't happy with the delay. "Loretta Lynch, the first African-American woman nominated to be attorney general, is asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes to the Senate calendar," he told the Senate yesterday, per Politico. "That is unfair, it's unjust, it is beneath the decorum and dignity of the United States Senate." The comparison to Rosa Parks didn't go over well with GOPers, and Tim Scott, the Senate's only black Republican, responded afterward. "It's just offensive that we have folks who are willing to race bait on such an important issue as human trafficking," he tells Politico. "What it does, is it infuriates people."

Scott and other Republicans noted that, if Durbin's bringing up race, it's worth mentioning he voted against Condoleezza Rice's nomination, as well as against Janice Rogers Brown, an African-American US Court of Appeals judge. But Durbin says it's not the votes themselves that irritate him—it's the delay. "To stick her on the calendar and to leave her there indefinitely? I just don't think it's fair," he said, per Politico. Eric Holder, who says he's sticking around until a replacement is confirmed, said yesterday, per the Post, that "it's almost as if the Republicans in Congress have discovered a new fondness for me. Where was all this affection the last six years?" Lindsey Graham agrees: "You've got a guy you held in contempt and you wanna make sure he doesn't leave, for a lady that seems to be pretty well-qualified. … I can't explain this." (The White House also isn't thrilled about the stall.)