(Reuters) - Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will vote against the nomination of Michael Mukasey as attorney general, a source close to the senator said on Friday.
Here are some facts about Mukasey:
* Mukasey, 66, was born in New York. He attended Columbia University in New York and Yale Law School in Connecticut.
* Neither a Washington insider nor a member of Bush’s inner circle, Mukasey spent his entire career in New York. He spent four years in the federal prosecutor’s office under Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and current Republican presidential candidate. Both he and his son are advisers to Giuliani’s campaign.
* He was nominated as a federal district judge by Republican President Ronald Reagan and took the bench in 1988. He served for 18 years, including six as chief judge, before retiring in 2006.
* Mukasey presided over some high-profile terrorism trials including the 1993 prosecution of Omar Abdel Rahman, whom he sentenced to life in prison for his role in a plot to blow up New York landmarks. He ruled that Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen accused of planning a “dirty bomb” attack, could be held as an enemy combatant but was entitled to legal counsel.
* Mukasey was originally expected to have an easy time winning Senate confirmation. But he came under fire from Senate Democrats for refusing to say whether an interrogation technique that simulates drowning is torture and therefore illegal.
Sources: Reuters, The Washington Post, The New York Times