Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama's nominee to be attorney general, is likely to face a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in which Republicans vent their frustration over the administration's immigration policy, the National Journal
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the committee chairman, promises to allow members to question Lynch for "as long as it takes" though he hopes "it doesn't take more than one day," he told the Journal.
Lynch's confirmation doesn't appear to be in jeopardy. She's been vetted by the committee twice before and now serves as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
The hearings on her nomination are expected to begin next Wednesday.
Conservative members in the House want to challenge Obama's immigration policy head-on by using a bill that would affect the funding given the Department of Homeland Security. Grassley says Obama is trending toward being a King George III-type because of the way he's uses executive orders.
"We've got to do everything we can to carry out what we said during the election," Grassley told the Journal. "We said that he's acting in an unconstitutional and/or illegal way."
In his own questioning of Lynch, Grassley is interested in establishing "whether or not she's going to be political" in the mold of current Attorney General Eric Holder.
He also hopes she will be forthcoming about how cooperative the Justice Department will be to congressional oversight. He expects to query Lynch on whether she will disseminate opinions of the White House legal counsel on the constitutionality of the president's executive actions on immigration.
As someone who has long served on the committee, Grassley is interested in a nominee's constitutional philosophy, temperament, respect for precedent and readiness not to read personal views into the Constitution — or to "legislate from the branch," he says.
"That doesn't mean that you vote against people who don't fall into that pattern, but that's what I appreciate," he said.
Under his stewardship, Grassley anticipates that the committee will play a more robust ongoing oversight role. There will also be opportunities for bipartisan reform efforts in such areas as cybersecurity, patents and juvenile justice, he told the Journal.
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