Mukasey Nomination Heads to Senate Floor Without Torture, Spying Assurances This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send Michael Mukasey's nomination for attorney general to the full Senate for consideration. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who decided to advance Mukasey's nomination without getting real answers on the issue of torture -- and the broader issue of executive authority -- missed a real opportunity to make progress on ending torture and reining in a president who believes he is above the law. Now, every senator has a responsibility to act. The Senate cannot "advise and consent" on the nomination of Michael Mukasey for attorney general until the public knows where he stands on whether acts like waterboarding (simulated drowning) are illegal under existing law. Our position, and the position of practically anyone who has read existing anti-torture laws, is that waterboarding is already illegal under current law and in fact, is criminal. Congress has enacted at least four statutes that ban waterboarding and ratified two treaties that ban the practice. Mukasey has evaded straight answers on eavesdropping as well. Under his theory, any restrictions on unfettered spying that Congress passes may be meaningless, since Mukasey believes the president has the power to engage in domestic wiretapping without a warrant and outside the law. Mukasey's answers to these questions reveal a more fundamental and troubling problem in his views on the scope of executive power. If an attorney general, whose mission is to enforce the law, believes the president has the power to disregard the law, our constitutional balance of powers is in peril. >> Take Action: Tell Your senators Mukasey must commit to enforcing torture and spying laws. >> Read the the ACLU letter to Senate Judiciary leadership.