Elana Schor of The Hill writes, of the Mukasey nomination for Attorney General:
"Mukasey also lists his defense of a 'dial-a-porn' company in 1987 as one of his top 10 most significant legal cases. Mukasey's client in that case was charged with transporting explicit material across state lines, and the nominee successfully argued that a law referring to tangible obscene objects did not apply to pornographic phone calls.
"The pornography case presents a potential red flag for conservative groups, which have expressed concerns about Mukasey's lack of a strong record on abortion and other values issues. But several Republicans on the Judiciary panel, including Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah), said they would not interpret Mukasey's legal arguments as a statement on his personal views.
"'Sometimes even unsavory clients deserve a defense,' Hatch said. 'I suspect that's where this comes from.'
"However, Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.), a rival of Giuliani's for the Republican nomination, said he would raise the 'dial-a-porn' case with Mukasey during the confirmation.
"'I want to know what his attitude is toward prosecuting pornography,' said Brownback, who has sent the nominee a copy of last year's book Pornified: How Pornography is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships and Our Families.
"Brownback said he already has asked Mukasey about committing resources to the anti-pornography task force started up by former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who resigned under a cloud of internal investigation in August."
Gotta say, I can't help but notice that nobody has yet managed to identify this "dial-a-porn" company that Mukasey supposedly represented way-back-when — but what interests me more is how they're already trying to get him to commit to "fighting porn." As you may recall, Brownback extracted a similar promise from Alberto Gonzales during his confirmation hearing, and I think we all know how well that worked out!
(By the way, writing about Al inspired me to look up his testimony at that hearing. Here are a couple of salient quotes from it, in answer to (ex-)Sen. DeWine's question about what Gonzales would like to be remembered for if he got the Attorney General job:
"I would hope that, certainly at the end of four years, it would be said that Al Gonzales did the very best he could and hopefully was successful in ensuring that there was justice provided to Americans all across the spectrum on a wide variety of issues.
"I also -- it is my sincere hope that I would be remembered, if I am confirmed today, as someone who renewed the vitality, the importance of the work that goes on at the Department of Justice. I know that there are some -- there are wonderful people who come to work every day, and they come to work with one goal in mind, and that is the pursuit of justice for all Americans. And I feel a special obligation, maybe a special -- an additional burden coming from the White House to reassure the career people at the department and to reassure the American people that I'm not going to politicize the Department of Justice.
"But with respect to specific areas that I probably would like to have special emphasis on, of course the first one is the war on terror. I also, because of my background, believe very much in the protection of civil rights, the protection of our voting rights, the protection of our civil liberties. I continue to believe that we have too many drugs in our society, and that should be a focus." [Emphasis added])
(And if I can just say: FUCKING LIAR!!!)
Anyway, to return to the point of this post, I'm intrigued that Brownback sent Mukasey a copy of Pornified, a truly terrible book about porn which, according to an AgapePress story from 2005, author Pamela Paul says "victimizes women, poisons men, and causes children to grow up too fast."
So obviously, if Mukasey reads that tripe, assuming he's never thought about porn before, he'll get a somewhat jaundiced view of the subject ... so what I'd like to do is send him a copy of Dr. Marty Klein's America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty, which I reviewed on page 92 here , as a sort of antidote to Pamela Paul's ravings. And of course, if you want a copy yourself, just go here . (You should; it's worth it.)