President Bush is expected to announce on Monday that he has chosen Michael Mukasey, a retired federal judge, to replace Alberto Gonzales as attorney general.
Mukasey has strong national security credentials. He was appointed to the federal bench in New York by President Reagan, and he heard many high-profile terrorism cases in the roughly 20 years that followed. One such case was that of Jose Padilla — the so-called American enemy combatant. Mukasey's ruling favored Padilla in part and the government in part.
In the weeks since Gonzales announced his intention to resign, the White House floated one name after another as possible replacements for the attorney general. Every name was shot down until the White House tried Mukasey.
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, who suggested Mukasey as attorney general months ago, said Sunday that Mukasey "seems to be the kind of nominee who would put rule of law first and show independence from the White House, our most important criteria."
Mukasey retired from the federal bench a year ago and returned to work at the private law firm where he worked before he became a judge. He is also a judicial adviser to Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani.