No One More Qualified for the Job Than Lynch

By Watson, Maurice | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), February 10, 2015 | Go to article overview

No One More Qualified for the Job Than Lynch


Watson, Maurice, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The U.S. attorney general job is an important one. The "general" leads the U.S. Department of Justice, enforces rights established by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, prosecutes violations of federal law, protects our nation from violence and terrorism, and ensures the president and all federal agencies follow the law. Personal and professional integrity, skillfulness as a lawyer and organizational leader, independent judgment, principled decision-making, and allegiance to justice and the rule of law are essential qualifications.

Loretta Lynch, nominated by President Obama to succeed Eric Holder, excels in all these areas. I have known her since we were both first-year law students at Harvard some 30 years ago, and the president got it right when he said, "It is hard to think of anyone more qualified than Loretta for the job."

My first impression of Loretta back in 1981 was that she had prodigious gifts, including a strong legal mind, eloquence and poise beyond her years. She also powerfully projected a determination to do something important with her life and career in recognition of the debt she owed, as a black woman from North Carolina, for opportunities hard-won through the struggles of courageous men and women before her. A woman of many dimensions, she was also funny and fun-loving.

Ms. Lynch was born and raised in the South during the time the civil rights movement reached its apotheosis. Coming from a family of ministers and educators who fought for equal civil rights, Loretta stands on the shoulders of those whose efforts made it possible for her to attend a desegregated high school and qualify for admission to Harvard College. Driven to excel, she earned valedictorian status at high school graduation but was required to share the honor with several white students to avoid fearsome objections from some in the community.

Loretta's personal life story is inspirational, and her professional accomplishments are as compelling. …

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