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The Mukasey nomination: It’s on; Update: Nomination approved by Senate Judiciary Committee, 11-8

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 6, 2007 08:21 AM

Update 10:28am Eastern: Nomination passes, 11-8. Sen. Leahy scolds disruptive members of the public. Sen. Kennedy is giving a statement lambasting Mukasey. He actually fumed about the “reckless disregard of the rule of law.” Yes, Teddy Kennedy did.

The nutroots frustration continues to mount.

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A veritable who’s who of BDS sufferers, including Larry Johnson, Ray McGovern, Valerie Plame, and Joe Wilson signed their names to a last-ditch protest letter against attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey. The Senate Judiciary Committee votes today. Charles Schumer makes his case in the NYTimes:

I AM voting today to support Michael B. Mukasey for attorney general for one critical reason: the Department of Justice — once the crown jewel among our government institutions — is a shambles and is in desperate need of a strong leader, committed to depoliticizing the agency’s operations.

The department has been devastated under the Bush administration. Outstanding United States attorneys have been dismissed without cause; career civil-rights lawyers have been driven out in droves; people appear to have been prosecuted for political reasons; young lawyers have been rejected because they were not conservative ideologues; and politics has been allowed to infect decision-making.

We are now on the brink of a reversal. There is virtually universal agreement, even from those who oppose Judge Mukasey, that he would do a good job in turning the department around. My colleagues who oppose his confirmation have gone out of their way to praise his character and qualifications. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, for one, commended Judge Mukasey as “a brilliant lawyer, a distinguished jurist and by all accounts a good man.”

Most important, Judge Mukasey has demonstrated his fidelity to the rule of law, saying that if he believed the president were violating the law he would resign.

Schumer and Feinstein are promising legislation to ban waterboarding, but their Democrat colleagues aren’t buying it:

Senate committee prepared to advance Michael Mukasey’s nomination to be the nation’s 81st attorney general after two key Democrats pledged to support him because he promised to enforce a law against waterboarding if one was enacted by Congress.

However, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy, said Mukasey’s assurance that won over Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer was disingenuous.

“Unsaid, of course, is the fact that any such prohibition would have to be enacted over the veto of this president,” Leahy, D-Vt., said in remarks prepared for his panel’s vote Tuesday to advance Mukasey’s nomination to the full Senate.

Feinstein and Schumer’s support for Mukasey was all but certain to give him the majority vote on the committee needed to advance the nomination. Mukasey was expected to win confirmation easily in the full Senate before Thanksgiving.

Nutroots protesters waterboarded themselves in protest in front of the Justice Department yesterday.

No comment.

Posted in: GOP

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