Few Fireworks at Hearing of Attorney General Nominee Lynch

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Pick Backs Legality of Obama Immigration Action, Which Draws Gentle Rebukes.

Attorney-general nominee Loretta Lynch vouched for the legality of recent Obama administration decisions on immigration Wednesday, but she deflected many questions about how she might steer government policy if she becomes the nation’s top law-enforcement official.

At her confirmation hearing, Ms. Lynch politely disagreed with Republican lawmakers who said it was unlawful for President Barack Obama to grant a reprieve to millions of undocumented immigrants facing deportation. Saying she had reviewed a Justice Department memo giving legal advice on immigration policy, Ms. Lynch told lawmakers, “I don’t see any reason to doubt the reasonableness of those views.”

That position elicited gentle reproaches from Republican senators, who sounded notes of disagreement with some of Ms. Lynch’s responses. But the relatively tame hearing failed to produce the heat and anger that Republicans have long directed at outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder .

“From my point of view, you’ve acquitted yourself very well,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.).

The most pointed questioning came from Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), who pushed her repeatedly to be definitive about her view of presidential authority and said he was disappointed in her responses.

She replied she would examine the facts of specific cases and follow legal precedent and relevant laws.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Lynch, the U.S. attorney for New York’s eastern district, pledged to improve relations between the Justice Department and Congress. Her ability to do so will depend largely on how she approaches the hot-button issues that took front and center at the daylong Senate hearing.

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