The Congressional Black Caucus is leveling a race-based attack on Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) over his opposition to President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch.
This week Paul announced that he could not support Lynch due to her support for civil forfeiture, executive amnesty, and her equivocation about the legality of drone strikes on Americans.
“She considers civil asset forfeiture to be a ‘useful tool,’ while I consider it to be an infringement on the Fifth Amendment,” Paul said in a statement Thursday. “She remains non-committal on the legality of drone strikes against American citizens, while I believe such strikes unequivocally violate rights granted to us by the Sixth Amendment. Mrs. Lynch also supports President Obama’s calls for executive amnesty, which I vehemently oppose.”
According to the CBC, however, Paul’s criticisms are an excuse to prevent a qualified African American from reaching the level of attorney general.
“The Congressional Black Caucus recognizes Senator Paul’s unfounded argument as nothing but an excuse to keep an African American legal scholar from holding this high position, and we directly call on him and Republicans to allow the nomination of Loretta Lynch to proceed to an up or down vote in the Senate,” CBC Chairman Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) said in a statement Thursday.
Butterfield argued that the issue of civil forfeitures isn’t a reason to oppose Lynch.
“Senator Paul is using the issue of civil forfeitures to block a well-qualified federal prosecutor from heading the Department of Justice. Senator Paul also has the audacity to suggest that Loretta Lynch should have more concern for people living in poverty,” he said.
Paul has argued that civil forfeitures — in which the government is allowed to seize property without a conviction or indictment — harms minorities and poor people.
“This program predominantly has targeted black individuals, poor individuals, Hispanic individuals. And when Sen. [Mike] Lee (R-UT) asked her about it in the committee, she said, ‘Oh, no, as long as there is a valid court order.’ You don’t have to be convicted, you don’t even have to be charged,” Paul told Greta Van Susteren during an appearance on Fox News.
“Often it’s poor families in the inner city and I wish she had a little more concern for people who live in poverty before taking their stuff,” Paul added.