Michael Mukasey Confirmed As Attorney General
After weeks of controversy over Michael Mukasey's views on waterboarding, the Senate late Thursday approved the former judge's nomination for attorney general by a 53-40 vote.
President Bush nominated Mukasey to replace longtime ally Alberto Gonzales, who resigned in September.
The nomination had been considered at risk after a number of Democratic senators opposed Mukasey because of questions that arose from his views on the terror interrogation technique known as waterboarding and the president's power to order electronic surveillance.
Mukasey, a former federal judge in New York, told senators he considers waterboarding "repugnant," but he could not categorically say whether the technique amounts to torture, which U.S. and international law bans.
Waterboarding is a technique that involves restraining a suspect and pouring water on him to produce the sensation of drowning.
Mukasey's confirmation was all but assured last week when two key Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee -- Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Chuck Schumer of New York -- said they would vote in favor of Mukasey despite the controversy.