[JURIST] US President George W. Bush has welcomed the Thursday Senate confirmation [JURIST report] of former federal judge Michael B. Mukasey [WH fact sheet; JURIST news archive] as the 81st attorney general of the United States. In a brief statement, issued by the White House Friday morning, Bush said:
Judge Mukasey is a man of strong character and integrity, with exceptional legal judgment. He was an accomplished prosecutor and, for more than 18 years, a distinguished Federal judge. Now he will be an outstanding Attorney General.Mukasey is expected to be sworn in later Friday.
Judge Mukasey's confirmation comes at a critical moment for the Justice Department and for our Nation. As Attorney General, Judge Mukasey will lead the Justice Department as it works to protect the American people - whether from drug traffickers and other criminals on our streets or from terrorists who seek to attack our homeland.
Mukasey was confirmed by the Senate late Thursday evening by the narrowest margin of any of Bush's three attorneys general, including former Attorneys General Alberto Gonzales and John Ashcroft, after facing significant opposition [JURIST report] to confirmation because of his refusal to unequivocally denounce waterboarding [JURIST news archive] as a form of torture. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Mukasey [JURIST report] by a margin of 11-8 earlier in the week. AP has more. The Los Angeles Times has additional coverage.