George Will offers a list of questions he thinks Senators should put to Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General. The purpose of the questions, Will says, is to “highlight festering legal problems.”
The first question pertains to attempts by the federal government to “coerce colleges and universities into jettisoning crucial defendants’ protections when adjudicating, in improvised tribunals, accusations of sexual assault.” The question is well worth asking if for no other reason than to see how well Lynch balances her desire to support the left’s assault on due process in these cases with the need to give lip service to the rights of accusees, so as to satisfy Republican Senators.
But Lynch has already demonstrated a lack of appreciation for the rights of those accused of sexual assault. In response to a question about Michael Nifong’s conduct towards Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of such assault, Lynch failed to denounce Nifong’s abuses.
Most of Will’s other questions stem from his view (misguided in part) that the criminal justice system is too tough on criminals and criminalizes too much behavior. These questions could also pose a problem for Lynch.
On the one hand, she may well share Will’s view of these matters. On the other hand, she will not want Republican Senators to suspect that she is soft on crime or sympathetic to criminals. Lynch and her supporters hope that her status as a prosecutor will innoculate her from such suspicions.
Will offers this pointed question regarding the IRS targeting scandal:
Given the [Justice] Department’s seeming complicity in the cover-up, would it not be appropriate to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS practice of suppressing the political activity of conservative groups?
Lynch, I assume, would deny the premise that DOJ has been complicit in a coverup. But she would have a tough time making the denial stick if Senators are prepared with the right follow-up questions.
Will’s concluding line of questioning is about voter ID laws:
Many progressives say that the 34 states that have passed laws requiring voters to have a government-issued photo ID are practicing “vote suppression.” Does requiring a photo ID at airports constitute “travel suppression”? Visitors to the Justice Department are required to present photo IDs. Will you. . .plan to end this “visit suppression”?
Good questions, those. But I still think the best two inquiries are: (1) name three substantive policies or practices of the Holder Justice Department with which you disagree and (2) okay, name one.