President Obama must decide whether to re-nominate a high-ranking Justice Department official whose Senate confirmation process has become tangled up in the dispute over when it is appropriate to charge banks with fair-lending violations.

The impasse centers around a behind-the-scenes deal the Justice Department struck last year with the city of St. Paul, Minn., in which city officials agreed to drop their Supreme Court appeal of a case that many observers believed would result in a curtailment of the federal government's use of a controversial legal theory in fair-lending cases.

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