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Questions for the AG Nominee

The WSJ has this editorial on AG nominee Loretta Lynch:

The early reporting on President Obama 's choice to be the next Attorney General is that few in Washington know much about her. That may be one of the reasons Mr. Obama picked Loretta Lynch after last week's election rout. Barring some future revelations, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York isn't likely to stir a partisan brawl with the new Republican Senate.

This does not mean that she shouldn't receive a thorough vetting. She has been a member of Eric Holder's Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys, and as such should be questioned about his policies. These include his use of race as a political cudgel--especially in law enforcement. Mr. Holder has used "disparate impact" theory to coerce settlements from banks and other businesses based on statistics but no proof of discrimination. A federal judge recently threw out the Administration's disparate-impact rule in housing, and the Supreme Court is hearing a separate legal challenge.
Unsurprisingly for a business-oriented paper, the WSJ is also keenly interested in asset forfeiture and its abuses.  The editorial concludes (and I agree):

On the other hand, Ms. Lynch doesn't appear to be the grandstander that many other U.S. Attorneys are, and perhaps she will show a political independent streak. She is certainly a better choice than Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who would have warranted a confirmation fight. Republicans have enough high priorities in the next Congress that the bar should be high for challenging non-judicial nominees who seem to be qualified and honest.
Readers since Friday have surely noted that Bill Otis and I have different takes on the nomination.  This may be an apt time for one of our periodic reminders.  Opinions expressed by our "outside bloggers" are their own.  We at CJLF do not review them in advance, and we might or might not agree with them.  Only Michael Rushford and I speak for the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, the sponsor of this blog.


I tend to agree with Kent that Loretta Lynch is about the best we can expect from the skewed list of candidates that Obama's minions presented.

Nevertheless, I do not believe she should be confirmed unless she disavows Holder's use of "race" as a political cudgel to extract settlements based on bogus "disparate impact" claims. As Kent notes, federal courts have already started to dismantle this brazen attempt to use the apparatus of government to advance a partisan agenda.

Note that it is the WSJ that notes that. I just quoted it.

My own view is that there is no question Holder has used race as a cudgel. When one (falsely) accuses Americans of being cowards for their (non-existent) "refusal" to talk about race, that by itself tells you that "cudgel" is the most generous characterization for it.

We must insist that criminal cases be judged solely based on the behavior involved. Race and color are morally, and thus should be legally, irrelevant.

What's actually going on is that race and racial antagonism are being dragooned as excuses or quasi-excuses for indefensible behavior. The AG, this one or the next, should be the LAST one to make the resolution of criminal matters turn on race. It's reprehensible and dangerous.

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