Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was perhaps the most vocal critic of outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, but he seems far more supportive of the president's nominee to replace him: Michael Mukasey, a retired federal judge.
"This selection has meaning beyond the resume of the man selected," Schumer said. "For once the president did not choose the path of most resistance."
"He is not a crony of the president," the New York senator continued. "He is not a White House insider. That is a good sign. He has a reputation for being a smart and careful lawyer who puts the rule of law first. Judge Mukasey has a reputation for integrity and that is most important right now."
When asked whether the committee would hold up nomination until it receives documents related to the ongoing investigation into the firing of nine US attorneys, he didn't answer directly, but said Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has concerns, like others on the committee, that the documents are delivered.
But the New York senator struck an optimistic note. "The nomination of Judge Mukasey shows a new attitude in the White House."
"We know Judge Mukasey does not agree with us on many of our views, but that is not a game-stopper," Schumer said. "We are open minded and hopeful, but there is a lot that has to happen."