Obama's AG nominee name leaked and confirmed

Disarray has marked the announcement of President Obama's nominee to replace Eric Holder, who leaves the attorney generalship of the United States under a cloud, cited for contempt of Congress. Steve Dennis writes in Roll Call:

 Hours after the White House insisted President Barack Obama hadn’t made a decision on a new attorney general, officials announced he is nominating Loretta Lynch, a U.S. attorney in New York.

Word had started to leak out that Lynch, not the widely-discussed Thomas Perez, was to be nominated, so a confirmation was issued to the press from the highest possible level: Valerie Jarrett. President Obama will make the formal announcement today. This is an utterly sloppy process, one that does not bode well for the nomination.

There is already flak expected from the Hispanic Caucus:

The move likely will be a disappointment to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which pushed hard for Obama to name Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, a former head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

But Perez would face a major confirmation battle and might only get through the Senate if Democrats jam a pick through in the coming weeks before Republicans take over.

Ethnic politics being the hallmark of the Obama administration, the replacement of a black AG with a black and (bonus points!) female nominee is a plus, unless you are Hispanic. But, President Obama and his press spokesman Josh Earnest have announced his intention to do something big to purportedly appease Hispanics by contravening immigration law and rewarding some, as yet undefined, group of border-violaters.

As for Ms. Lynch, she has twice served as US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate both times. Almost certainly, this track record was a factor in her choice.

She has also been in private practice, and served on the board of the Federal reserve Bank of New York. What she has not done is serve in an executive position in the DoJ headquarters.

Lynch has taken a number of positions that are in accord with Obama/Holder policies and anathema to many conservatives. Bridget Johnson writes at PJ Media:

In February 2013, Lynch said at a symposium at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City that the controversial “stop-and-frisk” practice of the police was a policy that “can be used and it can be misused.”

“It’s a tool, just like anything else. It depends on who’s using it,” she said. “I think there’s a tendency in law enforcement that when something works, to put all the resources behind it. Sometimes there’s a lot of thought, and sometimes there’s not.”

Lynch also spoke on gun violence, noting that “here in New York the shadow trade of firearms… escalates violence to an alarming degree.”

“Arresting more people or building more jails is not the ultimate solution to crime in our society. If there’s one thing we’ve learned is that there is no one solution,” she told the symposium.

“When I review my office’s gang portfolio, which sadly is as robust as when I was a junior prosecutor, I see a double tragedy. I see these young men, who are predominantly black, I see not only the lives that they take, but the lives of these young men,” she added. “When these young men and increasingly young women are turned out, what have we put in place to support them in their lives?”

The uncomfortable fact for liberals is that crime rates have fallen as policies like stop and frisk have proliferated and incarceration rates have risen. Mayor deBlasio of New York is in the process of conducting a natural experiment by reversing those policies, in Ms. Lynch’s current bailiwick.

The most controversial current activity of Lynch’s office is the indictment of Rep. Michael Grimm, who was just re-elected with 55% of the vote in his Staten Island district, a seeming rebuke of the indictment, which was for hiring illegal immigrants (hello, Hispanic Caucus!) and allegedly paying them in cash under the table, among other tax and paperwork crimes.

The big question now is whether Obama will be able to jam through a confirmation prior to the new Senate being seated, with its GOP majority. Unanimous consent is not a possibility, for the attorney general is now a controversial position, unlike a US attorney. It is reported that:

McConnell says AG nominee Lynch "will receive fair consideration" & should be considered "in the new Congress."

There are many questions which could prove enlightening or even embarrassing for Lynch to answer before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Humberto Sanchez of Roll Call lists ten of them, including:

1. What is the limit of the president’s executive authority on immigration?

3. At what point does the president need to come to Congress for authorization to engage in war?

5. Will you commit to turning over all Fast and Furious documents?

6. Will you appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS?

7. What are the limits on the president’s ability to not enforce the law? If the president has the authority to delay the employer mandate tax in Obamacare — as the White House claims — would a Republican have the authority to stop collecting capital gains tax?

10. Can the president close the terrorist detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, without the approval of Congress?

There are many more questions to be asked, and they deserve a full airing. Expect an effort to jam through the nomination in this Congress and a full force resistance from the GOP.

Disarray has marked the announcement of President Obama's nominee to replace Eric Holder, who leaves the attorney generalship of the United States under a cloud, cited for contempt of Congress. Steve Dennis writes in Roll Call:

 Hours after the White House insisted President Barack Obama hadn’t made a decision on a new attorney general, officials announced he is nominating Loretta Lynch, a U.S. attorney in New York.

Word had started to leak out that Lynch, not the widely-discussed Thomas Perez, was to be nominated, so a confirmation was issued to the press from the highest possible level: Valerie Jarrett. President Obama will make the formal announcement today. This is an utterly sloppy process, one that does not bode well for the nomination.

There is already flak expected from the Hispanic Caucus:

The move likely will be a disappointment to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which pushed hard for Obama to name Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, a former head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

But Perez would face a major confirmation battle and might only get through the Senate if Democrats jam a pick through in the coming weeks before Republicans take over.

Ethnic politics being the hallmark of the Obama administration, the replacement of a black AG with a black and (bonus points!) female nominee is a plus, unless you are Hispanic. But, President Obama and his press spokesman Josh Earnest have announced his intention to do something big to purportedly appease Hispanics by contravening immigration law and rewarding some, as yet undefined, group of border-violaters.

As for Ms. Lynch, she has twice served as US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate both times. Almost certainly, this track record was a factor in her choice.

She has also been in private practice, and served on the board of the Federal reserve Bank of New York. What she has not done is serve in an executive position in the DoJ headquarters.

Lynch has taken a number of positions that are in accord with Obama/Holder policies and anathema to many conservatives. Bridget Johnson writes at PJ Media:

In February 2013, Lynch said at a symposium at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City that the controversial “stop-and-frisk” practice of the police was a policy that “can be used and it can be misused.”

“It’s a tool, just like anything else. It depends on who’s using it,” she said. “I think there’s a tendency in law enforcement that when something works, to put all the resources behind it. Sometimes there’s a lot of thought, and sometimes there’s not.”

Lynch also spoke on gun violence, noting that “here in New York the shadow trade of firearms… escalates violence to an alarming degree.”

“Arresting more people or building more jails is not the ultimate solution to crime in our society. If there’s one thing we’ve learned is that there is no one solution,” she told the symposium.

“When I review my office’s gang portfolio, which sadly is as robust as when I was a junior prosecutor, I see a double tragedy. I see these young men, who are predominantly black, I see not only the lives that they take, but the lives of these young men,” she added. “When these young men and increasingly young women are turned out, what have we put in place to support them in their lives?”

The uncomfortable fact for liberals is that crime rates have fallen as policies like stop and frisk have proliferated and incarceration rates have risen. Mayor deBlasio of New York is in the process of conducting a natural experiment by reversing those policies, in Ms. Lynch’s current bailiwick.

The most controversial current activity of Lynch’s office is the indictment of Rep. Michael Grimm, who was just re-elected with 55% of the vote in his Staten Island district, a seeming rebuke of the indictment, which was for hiring illegal immigrants (hello, Hispanic Caucus!) and allegedly paying them in cash under the table, among other tax and paperwork crimes.

The big question now is whether Obama will be able to jam through a confirmation prior to the new Senate being seated, with its GOP majority. Unanimous consent is not a possibility, for the attorney general is now a controversial position, unlike a US attorney. It is reported that:

McConnell says AG nominee Lynch "will receive fair consideration" & should be considered "in the new Congress."

There are many questions which could prove enlightening or even embarrassing for Lynch to answer before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Humberto Sanchez of Roll Call lists ten of them, including:

1. What is the limit of the president’s executive authority on immigration?

3. At what point does the president need to come to Congress for authorization to engage in war?

5. Will you commit to turning over all Fast and Furious documents?

6. Will you appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS?

7. What are the limits on the president’s ability to not enforce the law? If the president has the authority to delay the employer mandate tax in Obamacare — as the White House claims — would a Republican have the authority to stop collecting capital gains tax?

10. Can the president close the terrorist detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, without the approval of Congress?

There are many more questions to be asked, and they deserve a full airing. Expect an effort to jam through the nomination in this Congress and a full force resistance from the GOP.