U.S. Attorney General
Michael Mukasey is the former federal judge who became Attorney General of the United States in 2007. He succeeded the controversial Alberto Gonzales
, who resigned following congressional investigations into his leadership of the Justice Department. Mukasey graduated from Columbia University in 1963 and then Yale Law School in 1967. He worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in New York from 1972 to 1976, serving as chief of his district's Official Corruption Unit from 1975-76. He was a lawyer with the New York firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler from 1976 to 1987. He became a federal judge in 1988, after being appointed to the U.S. District Court by President Ronald Reagan
, and served until 2006, when he retired after 18 years on the bench to return to private practice. The next year President George W. Bush
nominated Mukasey to replace Gonzales. Mukasey was criticized by many Democrats during his confirmation hearings, when he refused to say whether the brutal interrogation technique known as waterboarding was a form of torture. However, he was confirmed by a 53-40 vote of the Senate and took office on 9 November 2007.