In the dead of night, the United States Senate confirmed Michael Mukasey as attorney general.
The 53-to-40 vote made Mr. Mukasey, a former federal judge, the third person to head the Justice Department during the tenure of President Bush, placing him in charge of an agency that members of both parties say suffered under the leadership of Alberto R. Gonzales.The chief law enforcement officer of this land is a man who either cannot or will not state that waterboarding is torture, and who believes the president is above the law.
Six Democrats joined 46 Republicans and one independent in approving the judge, with his backers praising him as a strong choice to restore morale at the Justice Department and independently oversee federal prosecutions in the final months of the Bush administration.
Thirty-nine Democrats and one independent opposed him.
And again I ask, why did we need a Democratic majority for this? We could have had this with the Republicans in charge.