Dick Durbin: GOP Objections to Loretta Lynch Ignore Lessons of Selma

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A top Democrat said Tuesday that Republicans should be “more sensitive” about their objections to Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch in light of the approaching 50th anniversary of the civil rights march in Selma.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin accused Republicans of blocking the nomination of Lynch, who is black, “for no substantive reason.”

“I would think as we approach the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma, that the Republicans should be more sensitive to what they're doing to this woman,” he said.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is encouraging his Republican colleagues to object to Lynch’s confirmation for the “radical positions” she took during her confirmation hearing.

“The answers she gave at her confirmation hearing are, in my view, disqualifying for serving as our nation’s chief law enforcement officer,” Cruz wrote in Politico on Tuesday.

Cruz knocked Lynch for telling the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that she found the legal rationale behind President Barack Obama’s immigration actions to be “reasonable.”

He also said the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York “could identify no meaningful way she would differ” from outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, whose tenure was filled with battles with Republicans in Congress.

Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on her nomination on Thursday. She is likely to be confirmed, though the timing of a full Senate vote has yet to be determined. Democrats have contended that the GOP is delaying a vote without warrant.

“You can't celebrate civil rights and ignore the reality that one of the most important civil rights milestones, the appointment of an African American woman as Attorney General, is being held up for no good reason," Durbin said.

NBC's Andrew Rafferty contributed to this report.