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Will Ms. Lynch Do the Unpleasant Parts of the Job?

By Jonathan Keim | January 29th, 2015

This week, Loretta Lynch appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to audition for a role as the most powerful lawyer in the country. But as Uncle Ben admonished Peter Parker in Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Is Ms. Lynch ready for the Attorney General’s least pleasant responsibilities? As the head of the Department of Justice, the Attorney General oversees the largest law-enforcement agency in the country. If confirmed, Ms. Lynch will not be able to dodge responsibility for upholding the professional standards of lawyers who represent the government in court.

Although the vast majority of government lawyers obey the law and follow the rules, the small number who don’t can do significant damage by misusing federal resources.

Case in point. Back in 2007, a massive wildfire (now called the Moonlight Fire) California broke out in Plumas County, California, ultimately burning tens of thousands of publicly-accessible forestland, including some federally-owned land. The California state agency known as Cal Fire extinguished the fire and worked with the U.S. Forest Service to investigate its cause.

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