Senate Democrats fail to support Debo Adegbile for DOJ post

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Good afternoon:

Senate Democrats failed to support President Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile to replace Thomas Perez as the man in charge of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice (DOJ). The position opened up after Evans was confirmed as the new Secretary of Labor.

Adegbile is a highly regarded lawyer who did what I would minimally demand from any candidate who wants to lead the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ. He stood up for the civil rights of an unpopular person named Mumia Abu-Jamal after a jury had convicted and sentenced him to death in 1982 for killing Dennis Faulkner, a Philadelphia police officer.

Appearing as a friend of the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in the Abu-Jamal case in 2009, when he was the Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, he persuaded the Court to aside the death sentence because the jury was racially prejudiced. The SCOTUS agreed and remanded the case to the trial court for a new sentencing hearing.

Adegbile joined the defense team at the resentencing and participated in the successful effort to obtain a life without parole sentence (LWOP).

Politifact reports today,

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., co-authored a ludicrous op-ed in the Wall Street Journal with Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams on Feb. 24 that said Adegbile was not fit for the post because he attempted to “seize on (the Abu-Jamal) case and turn it into a political platform from which to launch an extreme attack on the justice system.”

I am not surprised that a Republican would mischaracterize actions in defense of a defendant’s civil rights in a death penalty case as an attempt “to launch an extreme attack on the justice system.” For many years Republicans have resorted to deceptions of every sort to frustrate and discourage minorities and young people from voting. If they had their way, they would deny them the right to vote. Despite overwhelming evidence that racism is alive and thriving in this country, they deny that it exists and proclaim every person, who speaks out in defense of civil liberties, to be a racist.

I concluded long ago that Republicans are racists who oppose civil rights.

Democratic Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania joined with the Republicans to vote against Adegbile.

He released a statement today before the vote explaining why he decided to vote against Adegbile.

I respect that our system of law ensures the right of all citizens to legal representation no matter how heinous the crime.

At the same time, it is important that we ensure that Pennsylvanians and citizens across the country have full confidence in their public representatives — both elected and appointed. The vicious murder of Officer Faulkner in the line of duty and the events that followed in the 30 years since his death have left open wounds for Maureen Faulkner and her family as well as the city of Philadelphia. After carefully considering this nomination and having met with both Mr. Adegbile as well as the Fraternal Order of Police, I will not vote to confirm the nominee.”

In other words, he thinks it’s OK to utter platitudes about civil rights, so long as a person does not actually do anything to protect those rights.

The Senate rejected Adegbile this morning by a vote of 52-47.

I was disgusted with the Senate before this vote and I remain disgusted with it after the vote.


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27 Responses to Senate Democrats fail to support Debo Adegbile for DOJ post

  1. I just banned Mineral Mom for behaving like a right wing troll attempting to derail legitimate discussion and hijack this thread.

  2. If the Obama administration had put someone up who could “actually” get nominated then this morning there would be a new advocate at the DOJ. Instead it will be months if at that & possibly a Republican Senate to contend with. Typical Washinton favor game. Removing the filibuster should have made this a routine appt.

    It’s the last years of this administration however, the favors are flying and all chits are being cashed in.

    The Right is fractured, predictable & their intransigence is no surprise or excuse for business as usual on my side. Losing the Senate to this group would be a disaster imo.

    At least daylight savings is coming and the longer days shall illuminate much.

    • President Obama called the defeated nomination a “travesty” and I agree.

      The Republicans didn’t defeat the nomination. They just did what they always do. They voted, “No.”

      The nomination would have passed, but for the votes of 7 Democrats who opposed it.

      I blame them.

      Your comment that “at least” we can look forward to the switch to daylight savings time says a lot about how ineffective and useless the Democrats in the Senate have become.

  3. Malisha says:

    Something needs to be done to restore the voting integrity in this country. JMO

    Restore it? So we had it at some point in the past? That would be … when? Perhaps that was when only whites could vote and there was plenty of integrity to go around — is that the time we enjoyed this wonderful voter integrity?

    • MineralMom says:

      I have always had to show photo id in order to vote in my state. If someone doesn’t have photo id, then maybe they should invest in a state issued id if they want to vote.

      I find it rather discouraging that the last few times I have went and voted (or family or friends) that there seem to be “problems” with the new machines and they are there “fixing” them while people are in the process of voting, so I question the integrity of the new machines and those who just happen to be “working” on them WHILE people are in the process of voting!

      Asking voters to show identification is not racist, and it’s not about voter suppression; It’s about proving your ability to vote in a manner similar to how one validates his or her identity in the private sector.
      Not asking people to identify themselves before voting on the future of the country is downright stupid, imo.

  4. MineralMom says:

    With all due respect, it wasn’t only Republicans who voted against him…

    Democrats changed the rules last year to overcome filibusters with just 50 votes, but Majority Leader Harry Reid couldn’t even muster all of his own troops Wednesday.

    Under the new rules, Democrats have forced through more than 40 nominees, including several who would have been blocked under the old rules.

    The final vote was 52-47 to block Mr. Adegbile. Mr. Reid voted for the filibuster as a procedural move to allow a re-vote.

    IMO-I would have voted against him also. Not because of who he represented, (as an attorney, that was his job), but because he is opposed to voter identification requirements. When you have precincts where there are more votes than registered voters, some districts which have the same people voting in MULTIPLE districts and/or DEAD voters making it to the polls, then something needs to be done to restore the voting integrity in this country. JMO

    • a2nite says:

      The problem is the NEW voter ID laws. They many of the laws written by ALEC & passed by evil Rethugs like these SYG laws are bringing Jim Crow back & worse than ever because they make it harder for more people to vote. That isn’t what small “d”democracy is about.
      Considering that black people have really only been able to vote since 1964 (two generations), it’s a not surprising that we have such poor turnout as it is. People don’t vote especially in local/state elections. The evil Rethugs are doing the most damage at that level.
      NOT cool!
      You may need to get your news from somebody other than “Fox news”.

    • With the exception of the voting machines that can be hacked to switch votes without leaving any evidence behind, there is no evidence to support your claim that voters have been committing voter fraud.

      Therefore, your claim that we need “to restore the voting integrity in this country,” is false.

      Requiring photo identification to vote eliminates the right to vote for everyone who does not have a driver’s license or state identification card. For that reason, the courts have stricken legislation requiring photo ID.

  5. Malisha says:

    Wasn’t Perez in charge of the “investigation” of the SPD in the Trayvon Martin murder case? And thus, does it even MATTER who is in charge of the alleged DOJ? Isn’t it time to admit that “civil rights” is itself a platitude without meaning? If you don’t have a right not to be murdered by anyone who chooses to call you dangerous, what civil rights exactly do you have?

  6. bettykath says:

    I’ve followed Mumia’s case. He’s in prison for a crime committed by someone else. Faulkner was presumably one of the good cops who got in the way of the bad cops. The witnesses have recanted. Mumia is a political prisoner. The Philly cops are still in charge. 😦

  7. Trained Observer says:

    On a sweet note in the Jordan Davis murder case, Angela Corey’s opposing Michael Dunn’s motion to delay his sentencing for three counts of attempted murder and one count of firing bullets into a vehicle until after his anticipated M1 retrial. Dunnster’s sentencing is scheduled for the week of March 24.

    Last week his lawyer Cory Strolla argued sentencing before a new trial would be unfair to the killer. Dunn, 47, can’t speak on his own behalf until after the murder charge is disposed of because anything he says in a sentencing hearing could be used against him in the murder trial, Strolla whined.

    But Corey’s ASA John Guy disagreed, noting Florida law does not allow for a delay in sentencing because a defendant faces other charges.

    “The state submits that the defendant will not be placed in a ‘legal dilemma’ by proceeding to sentencing prior to the resolution of his remaining charge,” Guy said. “By providing a recorded statement to police and by testifying under oath at the trial of the instant case, the defendant has made his position on all pending charges clear.”

    The issue is likely to be argued to Acting Circuit Judge Russell Healey during a hearing set for Monday.

    • Pdeadder says:

      I know I am not going to be popular for what I’m about to say but anyway.
      I want to know what really happened with Jordan and Dunn that night.
      I would be ashamed of my son if he had acted like Jordan that night fuck him turn the music back up etc.etc.Jordan’s Father said he was a good boy.
      Dunn is also young enough to be my son.
      I’ve gone over and over the testimonies and I agree with the verdicts I don’t think I could convict on the first charge.
      Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
      Don’t get me wrong Jordan did not deserve to be shot at let alone murdered but what made dunn snap I just don’t get it.

      • Trained Observer says:

        Pat — Pure speculation here:

        Although still apparently capable of driving without attracting attention, Dunn was boozed up from the wedding, and possibly earlier in the day. I doubt he was as polite as he claims when asking/telling/ordering the boys to kill the music. That, in turn, set Jordan off, although I seriously doubt he ever said half the stuff Dunn claims. Even if he did, the context was just big teen talk, not literal. Dunn was too loaded to know the difference — or care. He was gonna pull out his hotsy-totsy gun and show them a thing or two. And did he ever. Now he can spend the rest of his life in the slammer for that gun stunt.

        (The jury then failed to nail Dunn on M2, which it could have based on any dilemma on premeditation for M1, Instead, the jury chose to hang. The two women who later came forward with their explanations revealed a great deal of ineptitude.)

      • bettykath says:

        Dunn shot in anger, not fear. Remember that one of the witnesses heard Dunn say, “You’re not going to talk to me like that”. So Jordan defied Dunn and mouthed off. NOT a call for lethal force. As to M1, Dunn made a deliberate decision to kill Jordan in order to teach him a lesson. If I couldn’t convince the other 11, I’d settle for M2. If I couldn’t convince the other 11, it would be a hung jury b/c there can only be depraved indifference and malicious intent to fire a gun into a carful of kids.

        • Trained Observer says:

          Similarly, we have Tampa’s Curtis T. Reeves (an ex-cop and self-appointed movie monitor with a gun in his pocket) telling his victim Chad Oulson, armed only with a cell phone, “I’ll teach you to throw popcorn at me.”

          Two self-important dudes, both white, who felt their righteous supremacy all the more with guns in their hands. I’m not suggesting black guys never act like these two gun-happy goons. But I am saying firearms in the hands of hotheads are way beyond dangerous and that sometimes race has nothing to do with it.

          BTW, Reeves, who picked the fight, is now playing the fear card. Don’t think it’s going to work.

  8. jimmyxxx says:

    We’re governed by cowardly children.

      • colin black says:

        They say in a democratic system where the electorate chooses to disengages with the system.

        We get the government we deserve!

        Just as Putin Is the BOSS In Russia because the Oligarchs ie richest people the elite in Russia want him in Power.

        Its Tenfold more so In the U S A Obama was elected because the elite in America wanted him .

        There original pick a Politian Married to a Borg Seven of Nine fell by the way side .

        So there late substitute and huge under dog Obama was chosen.

        Can we run him ?

        An there answer was yes we can.

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