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Mukasey is the right man to lead DOJ

Charles Stimson [Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation]: "Experience. Judgment. Temperament. Legal philosophy. Those are the requirements, at a minimum, for a qualified candidate for Attorney General of the United States. Judge Mukasey has demonstrated those qualities, and more, over the last 35 years of his distinguished career. One has every reason to believe that, as an Executive appointee, Judge Mukasey will lead the Department of Justice in an exemplary manner while the Country is at war.

In his opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing, Judge Mukasey said at the outset that the hearing "isn't about me" and that legal decisions should be decided "by facts and law, not by interests and motives." His experience includes acting as the trial judge in some of the country's most important terrorism cases, and his temperament has been tested during the crucible of trial. Unlike some, he understands the need to gather intelligence and protect civil liberties during wartime, and the real tension that goal reifies. To Mukasey, "the issue between authority and liberty is not between a right and a wrong" as some describe the choice. Much like a hardened commander during war, he has a sober, battle-tested understanding of the real threat al Qaeda poses to the United States. During his confirmation hearing, he was his own man, agreeing and disagreeing with Democrats, Republicans, and the Administration on a variety of legal policy issues.

Mukasey is a practical man, stating that "reality has a way of undoing a lot of theories." He believes that the "constant, impartial, principled application of the law" is the best way to approach legal challenges. In short, Judge Mukasey is the right man for the job at a time when the Department of Justice needs a steady, experienced, un-flashy and unflappable leader. It looks like that is exactly what we now have."

Opinions expressed in JURIST Commentary are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST's editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.

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