Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s choice to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general, has so far been seen as a relatively moderate choice designed not to provoke Republicans while Obama goes about provoking them with other things, like amnesty for illegal immigrants.
But, writing for the conservative Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal, legal scholar Hans Von Spakovsky raises some disturbing points about Lynch, an African American who may be in the habit of viewing legal issues through the same prism of race used by Holder.
Lynch seems to share Holder’s view that voter ID laws threaten to undo voting rights achieved in the 1960s for minorities.
Van Spakovsky writes:
Lynch . . . has made it clear that she would continue Holder’s war on election integrity. In a speech at the Long Beach Martin Luther King Center in New York in January, Lynch claimed that efforts to improve the integrity of the election process were an attempt “to take back” what Martin Luther King, Jr. had fought for and that state legislatures were trying to “reverse” the gains made in voting.
Lynch made it clear she approved of the Justice Department’s lawsuits against states such as North Carolina to stop voter ID laws and changes in early voting and same-day registration rules, saying such suits “will continue.”
The death penalty, it seems, must not be employed because it applies to too many minorities:
She is cited as saying in a 2002 roundtable discussion that she had to repeatedly “explain decisions not to seek the [death] penalty” when she was a prosecutor. She claimed that the relative ease with which the death penalty was applied against blacks and Hispanics suggested a systematic disregard for minority citizens.
Lynch would not apply the death penalty even if all of the “problems” with it could be fixed, according to the article, simply because of its supposed disparate impact on minorities: “You can be as fair as possible in a particular case, but the reality is that the federal death penalty is going to hit harder on certain groups.”
Lynch, Von Spakovsky notes, has been a member of the attorney general’s advisory committee of U.S. attorneys and should detail for the Senate what advice she gave Holder on various issues.
The process of vetting Lynch is just beginning. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were done incompetently by the Obama administration, or if things that would seem like red flags to ordinary Americans too easily passed muster with Obama’s team.
This will be one of the GOP Senate’s first endeavors. They’ll be eager to exercise their newfound power, and Lynch might not have things so easy.