The Senate tonight approved retired judge Michael Mukasey to be the next attorney general, AP reports. Mukasey, whose refusal to declare that waterboarding is illegal nearly torpedoed his nomination, will replace Alberto Gonzales. "This is the only chance we have," said Dianne Feinstein before the 53-40 vote, referring to Democratic hopes of reforming the Justice Department and Bush's reluctance to nominate anyone else.
Not all her Democratic colleagues agreed. “The United States will not be viewed kindly if we confirm as chief law enforcement officer of this country someone who is unwilling or unable to recognize torture when he sees it,” said Dick Durbin. The 66-year-old Mukasey will be the nation's 81st attorney general.