The United States Senate is bound by law not to confirm Loretta Lynch to be our next Attorney General (AG).
Lynch is the current U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island. Last November, President Obama nominated her to replace current Attorney General Eric Holder.
While her legal background is impressive, that’s not the point. In her recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee she disqualified herself from being confirmed as the next Attorney General.
The United States Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer for the federal government and, as the head of the Justice Department, considered to be part of the President’s Cabinet. The US Attorney General is nominated by the President, but then confirmed by the US Senate. There is no set term of office; the US Attorney general serves at the pleasure of the President.
The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters generally and gives advice and opinions to the President and to the heads of the executive departments of the Government when so requested.
The Attorney General is the only cabinet department head that is not given the title secretary.
As the chief law enforcement officer in the U.S., the AG is “sworn” to uphold and enforce all the laws of the U.S. Here is the oath she would have to take if she is confirmed by the Senate: I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.’
In all my years of working in politics, I have never seen a nominee say on the record that they support violating the very laws they would be sworn to uphold.
Here is a question asked of Lynch by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL): “Who has more right to a job in this country, a lawful immigrant who is here—a green card holder or a citizen or a person who entered the country unlawfully?”
Lynch’s response is stunning: “I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country, regardless of how they came here… and certainly, if someone is here — regardless of status — I would prefer that they be participating in the workplace than not participating in the workplace.”
U.S. law makes it illegal to work in the country if you are not authorized by a green card or some other work permit.
How can anyone, Democratic or Republican, justify voting to confirm someone who said on the record that she supports illegal activity? But, of course Republicans will cave in and vote for her simply because she is Black and they don’t want to be labeled as a racist.
Voting against her nomination has nothing to do with Lynch’s skin color and everything to do with the rule of law. This administration, more than any other in history, has picked and chose which laws they will obey strictly on the basis of whether they agreed with the law or not.
If Republicans are too squeamish to block Lynch’s nomination strictly based on her stated unwillingness to uphold and enforce the laws on the books, let me provide another rationale for her rejection.
Obama’s proposed amnesty is a clear violation of the separation of powers—executive, judicial, and legislative. If Obama doesn’t like our current immigration laws, only Congress can change them. But, Obama has chosen to ignore the laws he disagrees with by signing executive orders; and Republicans in Congress have done nothing but feign perfunctory anger.
Republicans have, yet again, another opportunity to stand in opposition to Obama based on the core principles of the rule of law and the separation of powers; and I am afraid, yet again, they are going to cave.