Senate OKs Mukasey to head Justice Dept.

Nov. 8, 2007 at 11:31 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate Thursday voted to approve the nomination of Michael Mukasey as U.S. Attorney General.

The vote was 53-40.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 Tuesday to move the nomination to the full Senate.

Several senators in recent weeks -- including committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. -- said they would vote against Mukasey's nomination because he didn't classify "waterboarding," an interrogation technique that simulates drowning, as torture.

Sens. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said last week they would vote to move the nomination of the former federal judge from New York out of committee.

They joined the nine Republican members of the judiciary committee in voting to approve the nomination while the other eight Democrats all voted against it.

President George W. Bush nominated Mukasey to succeed Alberto Gonzales, who resigned after a series of controversies involving warrantless surveillance, alleged torture of prisoners and claims that several federal prosecutors had been fired for partisan political reasons.

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