When President George W. Bush nominated Michael B. Mukasey to be the 81st Attorney General of the United States, it was not a responsibility that the Orthodox Mukasey took lightly. How was Mukasey, as attorney general and as a federal judge before that, shaped by his deeply held Jewish beliefs and ideas?Watch
Mr. Michael Mukasey
Michael B Mukasey is a partner at the international law firm Debevoise and Plimpton. A former judge, Mr. Mukasey served as the 81st Attorney General of the United States, following the resignation of Alberto Gonzales. He was the second Jewish U.S. Attorney General. Mr. Mukasey served for 18 years as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, six of those years as Chief Judge. During his tenure on the bench, Mukasey presided over the criminal prosecution of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and El Sayyid Nosair, whom he sentenced to life in prison for a plot to blow up the United Nations and other Manhattan landmarks uncovered during an investigation into the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Mukasey supported the administration of President George W. Bush in its attempts to expand executive powers in the name of national security. He was especially outspoken in his approval of the USA Patriot Act, which increased the government's power to detain noncitizens, conduct surveillance and searches, and investigate persons suspected of involvement in criminal activity. Mr. Mukasey is the recipient of several awards, most notably the Learned Hand Medal of the Federal Bar Council.