Civil rights groups slam 'injustice' of delayed Loretta Lynch vote
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Liberal and civil rights groups are pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAs Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on Harris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year MORE to allow a vote on Loretta Lynch's nomination for attorney general, saying the Kentucky Republican is "standing in the way of progress." 
"There is an injustice allowing Loretta Lynch to hang in the balance and in blocking this nomination. We ask you to schedule a vote and allow Loretta Lynch to be confirmed," the groups wrote in a letter dated Friday and released Monday. "Justice delayed is justice denied and by not moving swiftly to a vote, you are standing in the way of progress." 
Lynch was nominated in November to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderEx-AG Holder urges GOP to speak against Trump efforts to 'subvert' election results Tyson Foods suspends Iowa plant officials amid coronavirus scandal Money can't buy the Senate MORE, but the groups say her nomination is being held up by political maneuvering.
"With a stellar record, bipartisan support and the historic nature of her nomination, many people believed that this confirmation would have few hurdles to cross," the said. "However, stymied by partisanship over an unrelated bill, she has yet to receive a vote on her nomination by the full Senate and the rights of the American people are left in the balance." 
The groups said McConnell is acting hypocritical by allowing votes on other judicial nominations while leaving Lynch in limbo. Senators voted on a U.S. district judge last week and are expected to vote on another judicial nomination Monday evening. 
"A U.S. District Judge was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, yet the hypocrisy of that confirmation is that the nation’s top legal representative has not been given her due process and has been used as a political bargaining chip. We cannot allow this to continue to happen on our watch," they said. 
Lynch's nomination could get a vote in the Senate this week. McConnell said Thursday that senators could vote soon on the long-delayed bill to curb human trafficking before moving on to the Lynch nomination. 
McConnell has pledged not to bring up Lynch's nomination, which has been pending for more than 160 days, until after the trafficking proposal is finished. But he has been  under growing pressure from Democrats and outside groups.
If confirmed, Lynch will be the second attorney general to serve under President Obama.
While Lynch's nomination is expected to be approved, the margin could be extremely tight, as only five Republicans have said they will vote for her on the Senate floor. That would be just enough for a majority, if all 46 Democrats vote yes, as expected.
Some Senate Republicans have vowed to vote against Lynch for backing Obama's executive actions on immigrations during her confirmation hearing.
The groups wrote in Friday's letter that the country needs Lynch in office as it tackles "issues like racial profiling, bans on marriage equality, laws restricting the right to vote, immigration challenges and so much more." 
The letter to McConnell was signed by:
• The Rev. Al Sharpton, the president of National Action Network
• Mee Moua, the president of Asian Americans Advancing Justice
• Brent Wilkes, the national executive director League of United Latin American Citizens
• Hilary Shelton, the senior vice president for advocacy of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
• Sharon Lettman-Hicks, the executive director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition
• Melanie Campbell, the president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable
• Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization of Women
• Marc Morial the president and CEO of the National Urban League
• Maria Teresa Kumar, the CEO of Voto Latino