Michael B. Mukasey

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Michael B. Mukasey is the United States Attorney General. He is a former judge who was appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan, and he retired after serving as the chief judge of the U.S. District court in the Southern District of New York.

Mukasey was a conservative judge who has presided over previous terrorism trials, including the 1993 trial of the blind shiek, Omar Abdel Rahman. He was one of the first to rule that President Bush's policies towards "enemy combatants" was unconstitutional, when he ruled on the case of Jose Padilla.

Mukasey was an advisor to presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Confirmation Hearings

During his confirmation hearings, Mukasey refused to answer many questions about the Bush administrations policies. For example, he condemned torture, but refused to say whether waterboarding constituted torture. He opposed granting habeas corpus right to prisoners at Guantanamo, and he refused to call for the immediate closure of that prison. He also refused to answer clearly when asked if the U.S. Presdent has the power to "seize U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and detain them indefinitely without charge?" (Sources: Glenn Greenwald in Salon.com, Oct. 18, 2007, [1] [2] [3] several articles in ThinkProgress on Oct. 17 & 18, 2007)

Mukasey was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 11-8, with Democrats Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein joining the Repulicans. He was approved 53-40 by the full Senate, where six Democrats plus Joe Lieberman voted in favor. [4]

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