U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), today announced on the Senate floor that he will vote against the nomination of Judge Michael B. Mukasey to be Attorney General. The Senator, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said his decision was directly related to the inability of Judge Mukasey to clearly define torture or to distance himself from the Administration on this issue.
“I have confidence in Judge Mukasey’s qualification and fitness to be Attorney General, but I am extremely troubled that he did not provide what I consider a strong enough denouncement of torture,” said Senator Cardin. “I have made clear throughout the confirmation process that one of my top priorities for confirmation of Judge Mukasey is that he demonstrate the independence from the Administration that is needed to restore confidence in the Justice Department. His answers concerning waterboarding and torture did not show the independence that I believe we need in the next Attorney General.”
Senator Cardin also is co-chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and has been a strong advocate in protecting human rights and in vigorously pursing human-rights abuses around the world.