Questions for Loretta Lynch |
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Questions for Loretta Lynch

Within hours of realizing that his party lost control of the Senate, President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch, the chief federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, N.Y., and an outstanding and apolitical professional, to be the next attorney general.

Lynch is sure to be confirmed by either the lame-duck Democrat-controlled Senate this fall or by the newly constituted Republican-controlled Senate early next year — and she should be. But the process of confirming her should capture the interest of all Americans concerned about the loss of personal freedoms in our Orwellian world.

I suggest to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that they permit Lynch to distinguish herself from departing AG Eric Holder by inducing her to answer the following questions:

• Will you advise the president, as Holder did, that his careful, secret, conscientious deliberations about the legal guilt of some Americans are a constitutionally adequate substitute for due process, such that he can kill uncharged, untried, unsentenced Americans?

• Will you advise the president that he can use his prosecutory discretion in such a manner that American borders become open, as they did for Central American children last summer, and that foreign nationals who are here illegally can legally remain here without complying with the laws Congress has written?

• Will you tell the president that the NSA can disregard the Constitution and execute general warrants, which permit the bearer to search wherever he wishes and seize whatever he finds, even though the Fourth Amendment was written to prevent general warrants?

• Can the president decline to enforce laws with which he disagrees without violating his oath to enforce federal laws faithfully?

• Will you advise the president that he can subpoena the home telephone records and the personal email accounts of reporters, as Holder did?

• Will you permit state and local police and the IRS to seize the property of known innocents who have not been charged with criminal behavior, much less convicted of it, and then retain much of the seized property even if the persons from whom it was seized are acquitted?

• Will you permit law enforcement personnel to create crimes so that they can solve the crimes they created and then boast about the crimes they claim to have solved?

• Do you accept the presumption of liberty, which means that the government must respect individual choices unless and until it can prove violations of the law to a judge or jury?

It is time for a national debate about the role of law enforcement in our lives. And the confirmation hearings on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to become attorney general can provide an excellent platform.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel.

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