"Even giving substantial weight, as I do, to the President's statement in the June 9 Order that Padilla is "a continuing, present and grave danger to the national security of the United States" and that his detention "is necessary to prevent him from siding with al Qaeda in its efforts to attack the United States," there has been no fact presented to me that shows that the source of that danger is the possibility that Padilla will transmit information to others through his lawyers.

By contrast, Padilla's statutorily granted right to present facts to the court in connection with this petition will be destroyed utterly if he is not allowed to consult with counsel. On the facts presented in this case, the balance weighs heavily in Padilla's favor," - Judge Michael Mukasey in a 2002 ruling in the Padilla case.

I'm not a lawyer but it seems to me that Mukasey is a superb choice for attorney-general. He is a rock-ribbed conservative, which is to say he believes in the rule of law, and stood up for it when others did not. He may be to the right of me on some issues, but his dedication to impartial justice is what we need right now. We'd be lucky to have him.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.