Judiciary Panel Approves Mukasey Nomination

Posted November 6, 2007 at 9:53am

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 to approve Michael Mukasey’s nomination as attorney general Tuesday morning and send it to the Senate floor.

Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) voted against the nomination, while ranking member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) supported it. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) broke from their party to support Mukasey.

Mukasey is now likely to be confirmed by the full Senate.

Democrats objected to Mukasey’s refusal to say definitively that waterboarding was illegal.

“I wish I could support Judge Mukasey’s nomination,” Leahy said. “I like Michael Mukasey. But this is an administration that has been acting outside the law.”

Specter said he was reassured by a personal phone call with Mukasey on Monday in which he promised to enforce a ban on waterboarding if Congress passes one.

“It really is a decision for the Congress,” Specter said.

— Rachel Van Dongen