Sunday, September 16, 2007
What if Michael B. Mukasey becomes the next Attorney General?
Probably the strongest asset that Mukasey brings to the AG's office, more than anything, is that he has a long history of working in the criminal justice system, and from a prestigious position of being a federal judge. This, hopefully, will invigorate the DOJ and increase the morale in the office. Having presided over terrorist trials he has seen the enormity of the issues faced by this country. Having worked as a white collar criminal defense attorney (see here), albeit only for a year, he should understand the concerns of the business community. But the most important consideration for Congress in assenting to this appointment, and for anyone taking this position, is whether politics can be removed from DOJ. Obviously some politics plays a role in the initial appointment of an AG or a US Attorney, although even these decisions should have as the highest criteria finding the most competent person for the position. But politics should never be a part of the decisions of the hiring, firing or decision-making of the civil servants who work in the offices. The key question is whether DOJ will be an office that represents the people of this country as "ministers of justice."