A vote by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate on Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama’s nominee for attorney general, could happen as soon as this weekend. But in the three weeks since her confirmation hearings started, opposition to Lynch has grown among Republicans, especially Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who on Tuesday laid out reasons in an op-ed for Politico Magazine why he will not vote to confirm.
“Senate Republicans have the power to stop this nomination,” Cruz wrote. “We can honor our oaths to the Constitution — we can defend liberty and the rule of law — or we can confirm an attorney general who has candidly admitted she will impose no limits on the president whatsoever.”
The Texas senator, a fierce critic of current Attorney General Eric Holder, wrote that Lynch hadn't demonstrated how she would differ from her predecessor on issues such as the use of prosecutorial discretion by the Department of Justice. Cruz also was not satisfied with Lynch’s answers on the legal basis for Obama’s executive actions on immigration. “When asked whether she would defend President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty… she responded affirmatively, saying that she thought the administration’s contrived legal justification was ‘reasonable,’” Cruz wrote.
Cruz also said Lynch’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in late January revealed “extreme, radical positions” about her view of presidential powers. “Personally, I wanted to support Ms. Lynch’s nomination,” Cruz wrote, adding that “Six years of Eric Holder has done enormous damage, and Ms. Lynch’s service as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York has earned her a reputation as a relatively no-nonsense prosecutor.”
Cruz is not the only U.S. senator who plans to oppose Lynch's appointment. Texas’ other senator, John Cornyn, said earlier this month that he would vote against Lynch’s confirmation. Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jeff Sessions of Alabama and David Vitter of Louisiana have also stated their intention to oppose Lynch.
Before her 2010 appointment as U.S. attorney in New York, the 55-year-old Lynch served in the same role as an appointee of President Bill Clinton, from 1999 until 2001. Prior to that, Lynch served in various roles in the district, rising in rank over a decade and handling one of the country’s most high-profile civil rights cases in New York City. She also spent some time in the private sector, as a partner in a New York firm working commercial litigation cases and defending white-collar criminals.