Saturday, September 03, 2011

Jews and Torture Update II

In my "Jews and Torture" post, back in 2007, I wrote:
Michael Mukasey's nomination as US Attorney General was placed in apparent jeopardy when he refused to state in Senate confirmation hearings that the form of torture known as waterboarding was illegal under US law. His nomination was rescued by two Jewish Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Diane Feinstein and Charles Schumer, who joined with all nine Republicans in an 11-8 vote to send the nomination to the full Senate where they were joined by Joseph Lieberman, another Jew who voted against his caucus. Mukasey was confirmed by a 53-40 vote--"the narrowest margin to confirm an attorney general in more than 50 years."
Recently I had occasion to look at the voting records of the three Jewish Senators who pulled Mukasey's nomination out of the fire. They only highlight how remarkable it was for them to cross party lines to support Mukasey. According to the Washington Post's database, during the 110th Congress, Feinstein voted with her caucus 94% of the time, Lieberman 87%, and Schumer 97%.

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