Senate Democrats Vote Down Obama's Nominee For DOJ Civil Rights Division Head

Tyler Durden's picture

Moments ago, the Senate was supposed to vote through Debo Adegbile, Obama's nominee for the civil rights division at the Department of Justice and who represented cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. It failed, when the Democrats in the Senate couldn't get enough votes to pass a simple majority with 8 Democrats voted against Adegbile: Casey, Coons, Donnelly, Manchin, Walsh, Heitkamp, Pryor. Reid voted no in order to reconsider nom later.

WaPo reports:

Opponents of President Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division prevailed in blocking his confirmation Wednesday, as he failed to clear a procedural hurdle.

Eight Senate Democrats joined with Republicans in voting against Debo Adegbile, whose nomination was adamantly and vocally opposed by conservatives due to his participation in an appeal filed on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal -- an internationally-known prisoner convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

The vote was expected to be close -- with Vice President Biden on hand to potentially cast a tie-breaking vote -- but the final tally was 47-52 in opposition to the appointment.

 

Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) initially voted for Adegbile, but switched his vote to no, giving him the right as Senate leader to bring up the nomination again at a later date.

 

Adegbile becomes the first Obama nominee rejected under the new Senate procedures approved in November that require just a majority of senators present to agree to proceed to a vote on most presidential nominees.

 

Other Democrats who voted against the Obama nominee were Chris Coons (Del.),Bob Casey (Pa.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.V.), Joe Donnolly (Ind.), John Walsh (Montana).

 

Adegbile, 47, spent more than a decade working for the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, where he served as the group’s in-house voting rights expert. The legal defense fund began its work on Abu-Jamal's behalf well before Adegbile began working for it, however he did contribute to the filing of a 2009 court brief that argued that Abu-Jamal faced a discriminatory jury -- an appeal later found to have merit by a judge.

 

But, that participation in Abu-Jamal's appeals, opponents including Faulkner's widow have argued, should disqualify him from holding any publicly appointed position in the justice system.

 

Several prominent Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), took the floor Wednesday to speak in opposition to the nomination and in hopes of swaying vulnerable Democrats facing re-election in red states.

So while it is widely known that the GOP's position in Congress is in shambles courtesy of the endless and by now pathetic, flipflopping of one John Boehner, are schisms starting to appear within the Democrats when not even a simple populist vote by the president was unable to pass the Senate?

In the meantime, without a person defending their "civil rights", we fully expect Obama to continue growing the authority of the NSA and promoting even more boundless spying on Americans.