Stay Tuned: Judge Mukasey (Ret.) May Be Nominated For Attorney General

Here’s a quick heads up. Judge Michael B. Mukasey former Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York looks to be President Bush’s nomination to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. Judge Mukasey has a curious background. He was a federal prosecutor with Rudy Giuliani and has ties to his campaign, served 19 years on the federal bench, and according to some interviewed by the Washington Post, is not well-known or likely to be favored among conservatives. Perhaps his rejection of the claim that Jose Padilla could be held indefinitely as an enemy combatant, which resulted in the case being transferred to South Carolina, upset some folks. Still as the Post notes, William Kristol of the Weekly Standard has written an editorial defending the choice. Kristol suggests that even though Judge Mukasey denied the government’s motion in Padilla’s case he will be acceptable to conservatives. To support this position he quotes Andrew McCarthy’s statement from the National Review Online:

He deftly handled the enemy-combatant detention of Jose Padilla (recently convicted of terrorism crimes), forcefully endorsing the executive branch’s wartime power to protect the United States from an al Qaeda operative dispatched to our homeland to conduct mass-murder attacks, but vindicating the American citizen’s constitutional rights to counsel and to challenge his detention without trial through habeas corpus.

I can’t say I know enough about the man at this point. As Kristol posited, the right may be choosing someone who will not be challenged (Sen. Schumer of New York seems to like the choice) and do little harm from the right’s view in the year and a quarter left in this administration’s term. We will see what happens when the announcement is official which is predicted to be Monday.

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