Update 12:30am Eastern. Here’s the roll. The six Dems who voted for Mukasey are: Bayh, Carper, Feinstein, Landrieu, Nelson (NE), and Schumer, plus independent Lieberman. Oh, and look who was too busy to vote…
Looks like Cornyn was at a fund-raiser in Texas with President Bush.
Update 11:26pm Eastern. Nomination approved, 53-40.
The Democrats who voted for Mukasey want you to know that “yes” doesn’t really mean “yes:”
Republicans were solidly behind President Bush’ nominee. Democrats said their votes were not so much for Mukasey as they were for restoring a leader to a Justice Department left adrift after Gonzales’ resignation in September.
See, this way, when they decide to turn on the nominee they voted for, they can invoke the Schumer defense later on. Remember Schumer’s excuse for voting for SCOTUS justices Alito and Roberts? “I was duped!” Flashback:
U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito “duped” the U.S. Senate into confirming them, a top Democratic lawmaker charged on Friday, days after a key Republican questioned if they had lived up to their promises.
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, a member of the Judiciary Committee that held hearings on the two, said they staked out moderate positions in congressional testimony but became part of a conservative bloc that issued restrictive rulings on issues from free speech to civil rights.
Schumer, in a speech to the American Constitution Society, talked about the confirmation of Roberts and Alito in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
“Were we duped?” he asked.
“Were we too easily impressed by the charm of nominee Roberts and the erudition of nominee Alito?” Schumer asked. “Did we mistakenly vote our hopes when our fears were more than justified by the ultraconservative records of these two men?”
“Yes,” he said…
Update 10:55pm Eastern. Whopper of the night from Harry Reid: “I was fully prepared to embrace this nomination.”
Update 10:33pm Eastern. Joe Lieberman is on the floor, reiterating his “long knowledge of this good man,” 43 years of friendship since Yale Law School.
It’s Thursday night on the Senate floor, and the Mukasey debate is underway. The Swamp’s liveblogging:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), one of two Democrats on the Judiciary Committee to support Mukasey’s nomination, tonight made an impassioned plea for his confirmation, arguing that the retired Manhattan federal judge is the best Democrats could hope for as a choice to succeed Alberto Gonzales. Feinstein contended that if Mukasey isn’t confirmed, the White House would allow the Justice Department to be run by an interim official for the remained of the administration. “This is the only chance we have,” Feinstein said.
She also noted that Mukasey had nothing to do with crafting the interrogation policies at issue.
“How can this man be the standard bearer for torture?” Feinstein said. “He isn’t. Why is he being treated as such?”
C-SPAN2 is carrying the debate live.