Following President Barack Obama’s formal nomination Saturday of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, two U.S. Senators indicated that a major sticking point for them as they weigh her nomination will be her stance on Obama’s plan for executive amnesty.
“The Attorney General is the President’s chief law enforcement officer. As such, the nominee must demonstrate full and complete commitment to the law. Loretta Lynch deserves the opportunity to demonstrate those qualities, beginning with a statement whether or not she believes the President’s executive amnesty plans are constitutional and legal,” wrote Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Utah U.S. Sen. Mike Lee in a statement on Saturday, shortly after Obama’s announcement.
Obama has repeatedly stated his intention to enact amnesty for illegal immigrants, arguing that since Congress has failed to produce an immigration reform bill he can sign, he must act unilaterally.
Obama initially planned to act this summer but has incrementally delayed action. It is believed the White House pushed the deadline to act until after the midterm election since executive action was thought to be harmful to Democratic congressional candidates.
Republicans’ shellacking of Democrats in the Tuesday midterm — the GOP picked up at least seven seats and could win two more — is also coming into play.
“President Obama’s Attorney General nominee deserves fair and full consideration of the United States Senate, which is precisely why she should not be confirmed in the lame duck session of Congress by senators who just lost their seats and are no longer accountable to the voters,” Cruz and Lee wrote.
Earlier this week, Cruz, Lee and four other Republican senators sent a letter to outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid condemning Obama’s plan for executive amnesty. (RELATED: GOP Senators To Reid: Don’t Allow Obama’s ‘Lawless’ Lame-Duck Amnesty)
If Reid declined to block Obama’s action, the six senators would “use all procedural means necessary to return the Senate’s focus during the lame duck session to resolving the constitutional crisis created by President Obama’s lawless amnesty,” they wrote.
Lynch has been appointed by two Democratic presidents to her current position, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Bill Clinton appointed her to the office in 1999. Her highest profile case during that tenure, which lasted until 2001, was the prosecution of New York City police officers accused of beating and sodomizing Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. Obama appointed her to the same office in 2010.