Civil rights leaders are continuing their push to have the U.S. Senate confirm President Obama’s pick for U.S. attorney general.

Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch has waited five months to be confirmed as U.S. attorney general. (AP Photo)

Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has waited a record number of days for a vote on her confirmation as the nation’s next chief law enforcement officer. The delay is unacceptable, Wade Henderson, the president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said.

“It’s been five months since President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch to be the next U.S. attorney general, and the Senate has yet to even schedule a vote on her confirmation,” Henderson said. “A widely respected public servant with exemplary qualifications, Lynch has been a champion in the fight against terrorism, hate crimes, public corruption and community violence.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network (NAN), agrees with Henderson. “Times are serious, things are too on-edge for us not to have a sitting, confirmed attorney general to decide where we are,” he said.

Sharpton and Henderson made their remarks along with other civil rights leaders on April 11 at the NAN’s national convention in New York City.

If confirmed, Lynch will be the country’s first Black female attorney general.

On Feb. 26, Lynch’s nomination was sent to the Senate floor by a 12-8 Senate Judiciary Committee vote. All the Democrats on the committee support her nomination and three Republicans, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) voted for her also.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is holding up the confirmation vote because Democrats are contesting an anti-human trafficking bill that includes abortion restrictions. A spokeswoman for McConnell told the {AFRO} on April 13 that her boss will continue to delay the Lynch vote until the Democrats agree to stop blocking the anti-human trafficking bill or there is a bipartisan agreement to move the legislation forward.

The Senate was on Easter recess from March 30 – April 10, thereby extending the delay. The chamber reconvened on April 13.

Lynch has picked up additional Republican support. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) have indicated that they will vote for her confirmation.

“I am confident from my conversation with Loretta Lynch that she will be a valuable partner in confronting the gang violence that is robbing families of their children every in Chicago,” Kirk said on April 2. “We need the help of the attorney general to fight gangs of national significance through federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, and to address organized crime like drug and child sex trafficking.”

The Senate’s two African-American members are somewhat at odds on Lynch. Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), the only Black Democrat in his chamber, has long supported Lynch while Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), the lone Black Republican, has not, according to his spokesman, announced what he thinks of her nomination.

Sharpton said that civil right leaders and members of their organizations will continue to engage McConnell by either contacting his Washington office by written communications or with daily visits to his get the Kentuckian to move the nomination. Marc Morial, the president and CEO of the National Urban League who joined Sharpton on April 11 and said that if a vote on Lynch were to occur presently, the result would be clear.

“Loretta Lynch now has 51 publicly committed votes, which means that she has all the votes to be confirmed,” Morial said according to the {Associated Press}. “So when we say call the vote, we know that the vote is going to be ‘yes’ in favor of Loretta Lynch.”