Five Dems on the Senate Judiciary Committee so far have said no to Mukasey, and five Dems remain undecided. A single defection would put Michael Mukasey through. As we noted
this morning, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are considered the key swing votes.
It will surprise many people that one of those undecided senators is Russ Feingold (D-WI), and in a statement, he says he's still mulling it:
âI have not made up my mind about Judge Mukaseyâs nomination to be the next Attorney General. Judge Mukasey is a marked improvement over Alberto Gonzales in many ways, including his apparent commitment to running the Department in an apolitical fashion. He may be the best nominee we can get from this administration in this respect. But I am concerned about his views on executive power, and I am weighing whether his answers to questions in that area adequately demonstrate a commitment to the rule of law. We need an Attorney General who will tell the President that he must abide by statutes enacted by Congress, and who will not equivocate on an issue as fundamental as torture. I will consider these and other issues as I weigh my vote.â