Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday that he could not support Loretta Lynch's nomination for attorney general because she supported the administration's use of controversial civil forfeiture laws that he said disproportionately affected minorities.
"I can't vote for her," the Kentucky Republican told Greta Van Susteren on her Fox News program.
Paul has joined three other Republicans in opposing Lynch's nomination to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder. President Barack Obama nominated Lynch, 55, the chief U.S. prosecutor for parts of New York, for the post in November.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn said Wednesday
that he, too, opposed the nomination — joining Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and David Vitter of Louisiana, who announced their positions last week.
The legislators, all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, object to Lynch's support of Obama's executive orders on illegal immigration. Paul does not sit on the panel.
Two other Judiciary members, Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona, said they would support the nomination. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham also hinted that he would back Lynch.
Paul said that he was most concerned about Lynch's support of civil forfeiture laws.
They permit the Internal Revenue Service to seize property that is suspected of being produced by or involved in crime. The agency has been accused of abusing the statutes.
"It turns justice on its head," Paul told Van Susteren. "Instead of being innocent until proven guilty you are guilty until proven innocent.
"The government takes your cash — $1,000, $500, whatever it is," he continued. "This program predominantly has targeted black individuals, poor individuals, Hispanic individuals."
When Lynch was queried about the subject in her confirmation hearings last week, she endorsed using the laws "as long as there is a valid court order," Paul said.
"You don't have to be convicted. You don't even have to be charged. They can take your possessions.
"Often, it's poor families in the inner city" who are most affected, the senator said, "and I wish she had a little more concern for people who live in poverty before taking their stuff."
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