Last September 25th, a teary-eyed Eric Holder announced his intention to resign as attorney general, pending Senate confirmation of his successor. That caveat looms large, because nearly six months later, Holder is still toiling away atop the Justice Department while Republican leaders dawdle on scheduling a vote to approve Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to replace him.
The delay is peculiar chiefly because there doesn't seem to be a clear reason for it. Republicans haven't dug up anything scandalous from her past, no single senator is trying to block her nomination, and she likely has the votes to be confirmed, although the margin will be closer than initially expected. The strangest aspect of Lynch's long wait is that the GOP overwhelmingly prefers her to Holder. The House has voted to hold the current attorney general in contempt, and dozens of Republicans have previously called on him to resign. Now that he actually has, they refuse to let him leave.
Most of the Republican opposition to Lynch is not about her qualifications or her record as the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, but about her support for Obama's executive actions on immigration. Which means that as usual, the opposition is all about the president. No one would expect Obama to nominate someone as attorney general who believed he was breaking the law, and while political independence is important at the Justice Department, no one would expect Lynch to announce an investigation of the White House while sitting at her confirmation hearing.