In an interview with Chuck Schumer for a story in tomorrow’s Observer, the senator said he still stands by the present nominee for the Attorney General position, Michael Mukasey, because he believes Mukasey will be politically independent from the Bush administration.
Since Schumer introduced Mukasey, a fellow New Yorker, at the confirmation hearings, the nominee has stumbled in his responses about torture and the legal extent of presidential power. Presidential candidates Chris Dodd and Barack Obama have since said that they will vote against Mukasey in the Senate, potentially putting pressure on other candidates to follow suit.
But Schumer isn’t budging yet.
“I’m going to give him the chance to put in detail what he means,” said Schumer, referring to Mukasey’s somewhat convoluted answer about torture.
The most important thing, Schumer said, is that Mukasey maintains his independence. “As long as he continues to project that I think he’ll be confirmed,” Schumer said.
I also asked him to assess the Roberts Supreme Court so far.
“I feel almost betrayed by Roberts,” he said. “Because he said to us in all sincerity and earnestness that he believed in modesty he believed in stare decisis. This court has done more to overturn things and change things than any in recent memory. How could he have said what he said to us and the led the court to do this?”