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September 16, 2007
Mukasey for AG?
William Kristol of the Weekly Standard is reporting that President Bush will name Michael B. Mukasey, a former federal judge regarded as an expert on national security issues as the next Attorney General:
Mukasey, 66, was nominated as a federal district judge for the Southern District of New York in 1988 by Ronald Reagan, and served until September 2006 with great distinction. Some observers think the announcement may come as early as tommorow.
Mukasey, widely viewed as one of the country's top trial judges, presided over important trials including the 1995 New York City terror trial of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven co-defendants, who were convicted and received lengthy jail terms. In an unusual statement, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, upon reviewing and upholding the judge's work, noted that Mukasey had "presided with extraordinary skill and patience, assuring fairness to the prosecution and to each defendant and helpfulness to the jury. His was an outstanding achievement in the face of challenges far beyond those normally endured by a trial judge."
Conservatives may be disappointed that former Solicitor General Ted Olsen wasn't named. However, the confirmation process would have been a bloodbath in the Senate as Democrats swore they would block his nomination. With Mukasey, the Administration will get a first class nominee known for fairness and integrity.
Conservatives may also be upset to learn that New York Senator Chuck Shumer has praised Mukasey thus raising suspicions that the former judge might not be as much to their liking as someone else. But Shumer apparently listed Mukasey as a consensus choice for the Supreme Court - a far cry from running the Department of Justice.
Mukasey will come in for sharp questioning about terror related programs and the law by Democrats but he should have little trouble making it out of the Judiciary Committee and confirmed by the full Senate.