Peter Keisler is another top DOJ official who is leaving, kind of. He was Assistant Attorney General and head of the DOJ’s Civil Division. In this position, Keisler fought the habeas corpus petitions of a group of ethnic Uighurs held at Guantanamo. Most of them had already been determined to be "no longer enemy combatants" (NLEC) by Bush’s own CSRTs (Combat Status Review Tribunals) but continued to be held anyway. The Uighurs are a repressed minority in northwest China and their continued detention may be a result of a deal with the Chinese. Like most detainees currently held at Guantanamo, the government itself does not suspect them of having any ties to al Qaeda or the Taliban.
Keisler was one of the DOJ officials who interfered in the Department’s case against Big Tobacco in June 2005.
Keisler a cofounder of the Federalist Society has been nominated repeatedly to fill John Roberts‚ seat on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals so far without success. He was first nominated on June 29, 2006, but this nomination was returned on September 29, 2006. He was renominated November 15, 2006 but the session ended without any action taken. Bush nominated him yet again on January 9, 2007. The nomination remains in limbo and is likely to remain so.
Keisler’s resignation from the DOJ was to become effective September 21, 2007. But on September 17, 2007, Bush in announcing Michael Mukasey’s nomination as Attorney General named Keisler acting Attorney General. This, of course, was superseded by Mukasey’s confirmation on November 8, 2007.