Are Republicans Pushing Away Black People in Loretta Lynch Hearings?

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Jan. 28, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Jan. 28, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES

In recognition of Black History Month, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Co-Chair Sharon Day have released a statement in which Priebus says that “as we reflect on the generations of African Americans who contributed immensely to the fabric of our country and to the Republican Party, let us honor their legacy not just by what we say, but also in what we do.”

Yet last week, GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee called Catherine Engelbrecht to testify as the panel met to consider the nomination of Loretta Lynch. Lynch will become the first female African-American attorney general, and head of the Department of Justice, if she passes the panel’s gauntlet and is confirmed.

Engelbrecht is a founder of True the Vote, a Texas-based group that has said it wants to make the experience of voting like “driving and seeing the police following you.” The group sends poll watchers to voting places where it suspects “irregularities” and has been warned about tactics that resemble intimidation of minority voters in the bad old days before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discrimination at the ballot box. Republicans presented Engelbrecht as a critic of President Barack Obama and current Attorney General Eric Holder.

With Engelbrecht in its corner, the Republican Party seemed to endorse her group’s activities and her testimony about being targeted by the “trickle-down tyranny” that she said was “enforced by the Department of Justice.” In doing so, the GOP was, in effect, reinforcing its support for the wave of laws in states throughout the country—initiated by Republican-controlled state legislatures after the Supreme Court invalidated key portions of the Voting Rights Act in 2013—that put in place rules limiting acceptable forms of ID and setting up other restrictions.

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Source: The Root | 

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