Michael B. Mukasey was sworn in as attorney general this afternoon, less than a day after winning Senate confirmation despite Democratic criticism that he had failed to take an unequivocal stance against the torture of terror detainees.
Robert Levy had advocated Mukasey disclose his position on the Second Amendment. I'd wondered the same thing, and expressed concerns that he backs Rudy Giuliani for president, and is backed in turn by Chuck Schumer for the top law post.
Presumably we now have an indication of Mukasey's position on 2A, albeit from an unlikely source, Senator Dick Durbin, in his explanation of why he opposed confirmation:
Take another unsettled legal question: whether the Second Amendment secures an individual right to bear arms. Here is what Judge Mukasey told me: “Based on my own study, I believe that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.”Note I'm not focusing on the waterboarding charges here or making any proclamations about the desirability of this appointment or Judge Mukasey's potential as AG. I'm merely pointing out his reported position on the Second Amendment, something I have been looking for but have not previously found.
In other words, Judge Mukasey agrees with the Bush Administration when it comes to retroactive immunity and the Second Amendment.
Excluding all other considerations, and with the caveat that this is based only on the rhetoric, it would appear gun owners could have done worse.
UPDATE: Looks like The Washington Post knew about his leanings over a week ago and we all missed it, although they don't have the above quote. Here's the relevant bit from their story:
Mr. Mukasey's 172 pages of written responses to senators' questions leave no doubt that he is a staunchly conservative lawyer. He believes the Second Amendment bestows an individual right to bear arms.Realize, of course, that what WaPo considers to be "staunchly conservative" is what, in 1960, would have been considered a mainstream Democrat. And note the all-too-common "bestows" assumption, as if an unalienable right independent of government proclamation is so difficult a concept to grasp.