As a federal judge in New York, Mukasey has presided over a number of high-profile terror cases, including those of defendants in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He also signed the arrest warrant against Jose Padilla.
The nomination indicates a desire on both sides of the aisle to fill the post quickly, with minimal conflict. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) described Mukasey as “a lot better than some of the other names mentioned.” At the other end of the spectrum, conservative editor William Kristol also endorsed Mukasey.
If his nomination is approved, Mukasey will succeed Alberto Gonzales, who resigned amidst controversy about domestic surveillance and political hirings and firings. Schumer was one of Gonzales’s most outspoken critics.
Mukasey, who is not a member of Bush’s inner circle, is regarded as a conservative with extensive knowledge of security issues. In a column published last month by the Wall Street Journal, he decried the inadequacy of the existing court system to handle terrorism cases.
“In fact,” he wrote, “terrorism prosecutions in this country have unintentionally provided terrorists with a rich source of intelligence.”