The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a Feb. 26, 2015, vote for Loretta Lynch to become the next attorney general, but when the full Senate could take up her nomination is still up in the air.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent out a formal notice on Thursday setting the time for Lynch’s vote. Several Republicans on the panel, including Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona, have signaled they support Lynch or are open to voting for her to replace Attorney General Eric Holder, which would allow her nomination to clear the Judiciary Committee.
However, a number of GOP senators — such as Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Jeff Sessions of Alabama — have suggested filibustering her nomination on the floor unless President Barack Obama reverses course on his executive actions on immigration.
With other Republicans opposed to preventing a vote on the first black female nominee for attorney general, and all 46 Democrats supporting the Lynch nomination, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) may be forced to file a cloture motion to end a GOP filibuster. That move would delight Democrats as much as it would outrage conservative outside groups opposed to Obama’s immigration policies.