President Obama’s nominee to take over the job of Attorney General for Eric Holder had a long day on Capitol Hill Thursday. Loretta Lynch is a well-regarded attorney who has put in some hard work and long hours as a US Attorney in New York. No one is attacking her on her past work efforts, on her credibility or her honor… but Congressional Republicans are VERY worried that she’ll simply continue to rubber stamp President Obama’s illegal actions if she heads up the Justice Department.
No where was that more clear than in her series of conversations with Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz confronted Lynch on several different topics, but all revolved around the central theme of wondering if Lynch would be willing to enforce the law even when president Obama wanted her to look the other way.
In the first video Cruz discusses the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memo that basically gave President Obama permission to not enforce our immigration laws. Lynch dodges the main question in this first video – “Do you agree with the OLC memo, giving President Obama authority to rewrite immigration law?” – until Cruz pins her down and she is grudgingly forced to say that through prosecutorial discretion she believes the OLC was correct.
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Video 2: On prosecutorial discretion – with a focus on illegal immigration.
Cruz: “Let me ask about your understanding of prosecutorial discretion. Would it allow a subsequent president… to state that there are other laws that the administration will not enforce – labor laws, environmental laws – would it allow a president to say every existing federal labor law shall heretofore not apply to the state of Texas because I am using my prosecutorial discretion to refuse to enforce those laws? In your judgment, would that be constitutional?”
Cruz: “I find it remarkable that you are unable to answer that question. I can answer it straightforward. It would be patently unconstitutional for any subsequent president to refuse to enforce the tax laws, or the labor laws, or the immigration laws for the very same reason that President Obama’s actions refusing to enforce immigration laws are unconstitutional. And it is discouraging that a nominee who hopes to serve as attorney general will not give a straightforward answer to that question.”
The last round of the interview begins by focusing on drone strikes and American citizenship. He also pushes forward the impression that Ms. Lynch does not seem to believe that there are any limits to the President’s power in office!
“Try as I might I could not find a hypothetical that you consider to be beyond the powers of the President!”
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