The new U.S. attorney general is not expected to win confirmation until 2015, NPR reports. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week he probably would stay until early February, marking six years as the top law enforcement officer. Theoretically a replacement could be approved in the lame-duck Senate session between now and Christmas, but that seems unlikely.
U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch of Brooklyn is a leading favorite for the post. Lynch, an African-American, is chairwoman of an important Justice Department committee that advises the attorney general on policy issues. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, who ran the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, has won vocal support from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and many labor groups. Perez jump-started investigations of abusive police practices during his tenure at DOJ, and he’s made raising the minimum wage a priority at Labor. Another often-mentioned name Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. The Justice Department’s second in command, Jim Cole, also is ready to leave. Cleveland U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach could get the job.