That prompted questions and praise for the former U.S. district judge from New York, who is an adviser to Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign. Some legal conservatives and Republicans have expressed reservations about Mukasey’s legal record and past endorsements, and said some groups have been drafting a strategy to oppose him. Others hailed Mukasey’s record. “He is really tough as nails. He was a really first-rate, brilliant judge, and he’s got impeccable conservative law-and-order values,” said Jay Lefkowitz, a former domestic policy adviser at the Bush White House who handled Justice Department issues. “I think he would be very well-positioned on national security issues, on prosecuting the War on Terror. He would be coming from outside the White House and … could restore confidence in the department.” Mukasey also has boosters among some of Bush’s toughest Democratic critics. WASHINGTON – Conservatives on Saturday lined up for and against potential attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey, the man they believe has ascended to the top of President George W. Bush’s list of replacements for Alberto Gonzales. Earlier in the week, Democrats in the Senate threatened to block confirmation of another prospect – Theodore Olson, a longtime GOP ally and former solicitor general who represented Bush before the Supreme Court in the contested 2000 presidential election. The behind-the-scenes battle over who will succeed Gonzales heated up over the weekend as the president, who was at Camp David, moved closer to announcing his choice. So far, the White House has stayed quiet about who will replace Gonzales. An announcement is expected this week, and some legal conservatives and Republicans told The Associated Press that the White House appeared to be signaling that Mukasey was Bush’s pick. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., previously recommended Mukasey for a Supreme Court vacancy. In June 2005, the liberal Alliance for Justice put Mukasey’s name on a list of four judges who, if chosen for the Supreme Court, would show the president’s “commitment” to picking someone who could be supported by both Democratic and Republican senators. Nan Aron of the alliance said if Bush nominated Mukasey, the Senate would view it as a “conciliatory” act.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!