Debo Adegbile

[Los Angeles Times]

Debo Adegbile

On a straight party-line vote Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved civil rights lawyer Debo Adegbile’s nomination to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Adegbile, a longtime voting-rights specialist for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, had drawn opposition, in particular from Philadelphia officials, because of his representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a convicted cop-killer there.

The Fraternal Order of Police called the nomination “a thumb in the eye of our nation’s law enforcement officers.” Other law enforcement groups, the police officer’s widow and, most recently, Philadelphia Dist. Atty. Seth Williams opposed the nomination because of Adegbile’s association with Abu-Jamal, who became a cause celebre for some liberal activists.

This “was a cause premised on the notion that this country’s most notorious cop killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, was a victim,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), said Thursday before voting against Adegbile.

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