Alex Pappas, Daily Caller, March 5, 2014
The Senate on Wednesday voted to block Debo Adegbile, President Obama’s controversial nominee for assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, from being confirmed.
Adegbile’s nomination had been contested because of his history at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund defending notorious cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was found guilty of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid pleaded with the Democratic-controlled Senate to approve Adegbile’s nomination, but enough Democrats sided with Republicans on Wednesday afternoon to block a procedural step leading to a final vote. Fifty-two senators voted against proceeding, while 47 voted for it.
Faulkner’s wife has asked lawmakers to vote against Adegbile’s confirmation. “The thought that Mr. Adergbile would be rewarded, in part, for the work he did for my husband’s killer is revolting,” Maureen Faulkner wrote in a letter.
The Fraternal Order of Police has also called on lawmakers to vote against Adergbile because of the case, which they said “turned the justice system on its head with unfounded and unproven allegations of racism.”
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, said: “There are many highly qualified Americans who can carry out this critical mission, and it is a critical mission. Mr. Adegbile’s record and what he has actually done creates serious doubts that he’s one of them.”
Vice President Biden, in his capacity as president of the Senate, took the unusual step of presiding over the Senate during the Adegbile vote in case he could break a tie. Biden was not able to step in, however, because over 50 Senators opposed Adegbile’s nomination.
[Editor’s Note: President Obama has this to say on the failure to approve his nominee:
“The Senate’s failure to confirm Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice is a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant. As a lawyer, Mr. Adgebile has played by the rules. And now, Washington politics have used the rules against him. The fact that his nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation of a defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justice–and those who voted against his nomination denied the American people an outstanding public servant.”]