Loretta Lynch is sworn in during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Republican senators offered cautious praise for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch at her confirmation hearing on Wednesday as Lynch pledged to improve relations between the Justice Department and Congress.
The ability of Lynch, currently the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., to smooth relations with congressional Republicans will depend largely on how she approaches the hot-button issues that took front and center at the beginning of the Senate hearing.
The first question from Sen. Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) related to the White House’s use of executive authority to make changes to immigration policy, with Grassley asking Lynch for her views on whether that was allowed.
Lynch said she had reviewed a Justice Department memo giving legal advice on immigration policy. “I don’t see any reason to doubt the reasonableness of those views,” she said.
Lynch highlighted her resume and upbringing in North Carolina, where she watched her parents fight segregation. She pledged to fairly apply federal law without letting bias influence her decisions and said she would uphold the U.S. Constitution.
“I believe in the promise of America because I have lived the promise of America,” she said.
Lynch is the first Obama cabinet nominee to go before the Senate since Republicans took control in the November election. Opposition so far has been muted, with critics of the administration and outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder’s tenure at the Justice Department finding little to question in a career devoted largely to law enforcement.