Under the Dome

NC NAACP demonstrators call on senators to vote for Loretta Lynch

Members of the North Carolina NAACP and its Moral Monday movement protested at the state offices of U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr and sent a letter that appealed to them on the basis of Christianity to vote for Loretta Lynch as attorney general.

“When you return to the U.S. Senate after Easter, we pray you will announce you have experienced a newness of thinking symbolic of the newness of life that Jesus's resurrection represents,” a letter from the group’s leaders said.

Tillis and Burr have said they won’t vote to confirm Lynch as attorney general. Both cited her support for a Justice Department lawsuit over North Carolina’s new voting law, which includes voter ID requirements. Tillis supported the law when he was speaker of the state House.

The letter said that Lynch, a North Carolina native who is now U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, is from a family of three generations of African-American ministers. It called on Burr, whose late father was pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem for 23 years, “to listen to the lessons taught by your father, a well-respected minister who led by example promoting the social justice agenda of Jesus the Christ.”

It asked Tillis to “show that North Carolina is moving to a higher and nobler ground than that promoted by your billionaire sponsors.”

The letter was signed by the Rev. William Barber, the group’s president, and the Rev. Michelle Laws, its executive director. The demonstrations took place on Monday at Tillis’ Raleigh and Charlotte offices and Burr’s office in Wilmington.

In response, Tillis’ press secretary, Meghan Burris, said in a statement:

“Senator Tillis has immense personal and professional respect for Loretta Lynch. However, because Ms. Lynch has stated her clear support for the President’s unconstitutional executive amnesty plan and did not make a firm commitment to reverse the partisan politicization that presently exists at the Department of Justice, he will not be supporting her confirmation. In the event that Ms. Lynch is confirmed, Senator Tillis stands ready to work with her on key areas of agreement, and ultimately hopes that she will work to restore the Department’s reputation for legal integrity that is divorced from politics.”