People For the American Way’s Public Policy Director Tanya Clay House released the following statement regarding the Senate Judiciary Committee vote to send Michael Mukasey’s nomination as Attorney General to the full Senate:
“When President Bush nominated former Judge Michael Mukasey to be Attorney General, People For the American Way urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to conduct a rigorous hearing to determine whether Mukasey could be counted on not to repeat the disastrous tenure of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who was unwilling or unable to stand up to the White House and stand up for the rule of law.
“We’re deeply disappointed that the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send Mukasey’s nomination to the full Senate. Mukasey’s responses – particularly his equivocation on waterboarding and torture – suggest a lack of independence from the White House.
“We know that the Justice Department is in dire need of new leadership. But the nation is in even greater need of an Attorney General who can be counted on to uphold our Constitution and laws, to which this White House has demonstrated its indifference. Mukasey failed to make it clear that he would fulfill that role. That is why we have joined other civil rights groups in opposing his confirmation.”