Tom Waring, the Wire
Former congressman Joe Sestak, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, criticized Republican Sen. Pat Toomey for voting against Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be attorney general.
Sestak said the vote shows that Toomey is a partisan obstructionist.
Lynch was confirmed by a vote of 56–43, with 10 Republicans voting for her. Opponents cited her support for President Barack Obama’s actions favoring illegal immigrants.
Toomey said after the vote, “Given Ms. Lynch’s experience and commitment to public service, I wish that I could support her nomination. However, as I announced publicly after meeting with her in late February, I cannot support her and I did not vote for her confirmation today. During our meeting, Ms. Lynch refused to answer fundamental questions about the U.S. Constitution and how it limits the president’s authority.”
Toomey pointed to Lynch’s refusal to review the Obama administration’s November 2014 order unilaterally granting legal status and work permits to more than 4 million illegal immigrants, as requested by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Ms. Lynch told me she had not conducted an independent legal analysis of her own. Instead, Ms. Lynch relied on the opinions of administration lawyers to conclude the president has the legal and Constitutional authority to rewrite immigration law,” Toomey said.
“This president has repeatedly exceeded his legal authority. He has unilaterally rewritten Obamacare, made executive appointments the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional, and rewritten immigration law despite having said 22 times that he lacked the authority to do so.”
Toomey said he does not believe that Lynch can carry out the duty of the attorney general to uphold the Constitution.
“The attorney general does not represent the president; she represents the American people,” he said. “The attorney general has the duty to act as an independent legal check on executive overreach. It is clear to me that Ms. Lynch is unwilling to play that role.”