Mukasey Accepts AG Position

Update: Here is the text of President Bush's nomination of Judge Mukasey this morning and Judge Mukasey's acceptance.


White House sources said Sunday night Michael Mukasey has accepted President Bush's offer to be our next Attorney General.

What's up with Sen. Charles Schumer? First he touts Mukasey to Bush for both the Supreme Court and the Attorney General's position, and now he's promising a tough confirmation hearing and saying Judge Mukasey only has "potential" to be a consensus nominee?

Schumer said Mukasey will face questions about "important and sensitive issues," such as the controversy over the Bush administration's warrantless electronic surveillance program and the appointments of U.S. attorneys. But he said the former judge "has the potential to become a consensus nominee."

Maybe he should have ascertained the Judge's positions on these issues before he recommended him for the job.


As I wrote here, Judge Mukasey has publicly stated his support for the Patriot Act and his belief that it's no big deal to use sneak and peek warrants and roving wiretaps in terror cases since they are already approved for drug cases. He has an expansive view of FISA, criticized the sunset provisions of the Patriot Act and he believes citizens should give the Government the benefit of the doubt.

That being said, anyone Bush picks for AG is going to be a conservative. Mukasey has bucked the Government in several cases, and I've found nothing to suggest he will be the Administration's water boy. Mukasey is a far better pick than Ted Olson or, for that matter, a career prosecutor who grew up under Ashcroft and Gonzales. While he's been politically supportive of his pal Giuliani and Joe Lieberman, it sounds like he's more interested in law than politics. That's what the Justice Department needs right now.

One more note: I think Mukasey may be good for the civil rights division.

Gonzales transformed the Division into one protecting against what he called religious discrimination (and the rest of us call the separation of church and state.)

As a non-Christian (Mukasey is an Orthodox Jew, see here as well,) I'm optimistic he may restore the Civil Rights Division to its former and intended mission.

Let's get Judge Mukasey confirmed before Bush comes up with someone terrible. It's not the AG's job to design warrantless wiretapping programs or do anything other than comply with the Patriot Act that Congress stupidly passed -- twice.

It's Congress' job to enact restrictions on warrantless wiretaping under and outside of FISA. It's Congress's job to roll back the patriot act and Fisa enhancements the Dems cowered on right before the August Recess. Judge Makasey will look at the laws handed to him by Congress and enforce the ones he believes are legal.

Should Congress and Mukcasey disagree, we always have the courts to serve as an arbiter of last resort.

Much of Mukasey's job will be adminstrative in terms of attending to managerial issues of DOJ.

If I were a nominee going into that ocnfirmation hearing, I'd be the one asking the quesitons: I'd wnat to know all the details of these secret plans so I could give my absolute assurance I would go along with them. If I saw problems up front, I'd want to have a chat about them where I could express my reservations.

I think the Dems should confirm him. He's qualified and independent and familiar with how the DOJ operates. That's about as much as we can hope for.

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    I'm a little confused by what you say (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 07:05:20 AM EST
    about Schumer. Is it your position that, once having expressed support for a nominee, a Senator is no longer allowed to urge that the Senate do its usual due diligence?

    Yeah, I'd have to agree with you andgarden (none / 0) (#4)
    by pontificator on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 09:20:01 AM EST
    I thought Schumer's statement was fine.  Recommending a candidate doesn't mean you know everything about every position he's ever held, it means that you have a basic trust (at least here), in his independence and character.  I'm sure Schumer will vote to confirm, but he's absolutely right in insisiting on a rigorous confirmation hearing that explores the Judge's postion on all those issues.

    As an FYI, Mukasey's repuation in the New York bar is quite good.  He's considered a "good draw" by most lawyers.


    Stage dressing and misdirection...? (none / 0) (#1)
    by jerry on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 03:22:56 AM EST
    First he touts Mukasey to Bush for both the Supreme Court and the Attorney General's position, and now he's promising a tough confirmation hearing and saying Judge Mukasey only has "potential" to be a consensus nominee?

    Schumer was always a bit of a wanker (none / 0) (#2)
    by kovie on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 06:01:58 AM EST
    I.e. a blowhard who says both more (in words) and less (in content) than he should, like fellow Dem bloviator Biden (imagine getting stuck in an elevator with both!). Sure, Mukasey should be given a tough and thorough hearing, but Schumer shouldn't have phrased this in a way that makes him look oafish.

    Dems are still playing catch-up trying to sound as good as Repubs in the talking points department. They still often sound like members of the chess club trying to sound cool and tough and with it. Someone needs to hook them up with Denis Leary.

    Anyway, he sounds about as good as we're likely to get out of this administration and environment. Perhaps Dems could strike a deal--and perhaps this is what Schumer was alluding to--whereby he gets confirmed if a special counsel is named to look into USAgate and Seigelman.

    But better an honest and honorable right-wing ideologue than a dishonest and corrupt partisan hack sleazeball like Olson. The man is slime.

    I can't believe I just wrote that. This is how desperate we've become...

    Schumer (none / 0) (#5)
    by chemoelectric on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 09:35:48 AM EST
    What's up with Sen. Charles Schumer? First he touts Mukasey to Bush for both the Supreme Court and the Attorney General's position, and now he's promising a tough confirmation hearing and saying Judge Mukasey only has "potential" to be a consensus nominee?

    This is called posing for the camera.

    why any Democrat would want to confirm him (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 10:32:31 AM EST
    is beyond me.

    Go read my new diary on this topic - I was going to comment but one thing led to another and, it got way long for this space.

    I think Schumer was not being a wanker on this, BTW.  I'll give him credit for wanting to smoke things out a bit.

    Real consensus builder (none / 0) (#7)
    by sphealey on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 12:07:08 PM EST
    Real consensus-builder with that Acting AG appointment this morning, yes siree.


    Why would Mukasey take the job? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Kalkaino on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 12:51:53 PM EST
    This sounds mighty slick on the part of The Party, they get a "consverative" and they also give a really lousy job to a judge who has been (occasionally) a thorn in their side, getting brownie points from our credulous press, and also removing said judge from his lifetime post.

    So what's in it for Mukasey?

    A place in history? (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 08:45:45 PM EST
    National service?