Monday, September 17, 2007

Mukasey to Be Nominated as Attorney General

This posting was written by Paula Cruikshank, CCH White House Correspondent.

President Bush on September 17 announced his intention to nominate Michael B. Mukasey, former chief justice of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, to become U.S. Attorney General, succeeding Alberto Gonzales.

Mukasey’s rulings on terrorism-related cases and expertise in constitutional law show that "he knows what it takes to fight this war effectively and he knows how to do it in a manner that is consistent with our laws and our Constitution," the president stated.

Mukasey said the Justice Department faces “vastly different” challenges than 35 years ago when he was a U.S. attorney. “But the principles that guide the department remain the same—to pursue justice by enforcing the law with unswerving fidelity to the Constitution,” Mukasey asserted.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a written statement, commended the president’s choice for Attorney General.

"Judge Mukasey has strong professional credentials and a reputation for independence," said Reid. "A man who spent 18 years on the federal bench surely understands the importance of checks and balances and knows how to say no to the President when he oversteps the Constitution."

Mukasey is currently a Partner in the New York law firm, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, working on white collar defense and investigative matters, providing advice on corporate governance issues, and actively litigating civil and criminal cases.

President Reagan in 1987 nominated him to be judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a position he held from 1988 to 2006. From 1972 to 1976, Mukasey was an assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and his LLB from Yale Law School.

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