Do yourself a favor and watch the ALL IN with Chris Hayes segment (below) on how Republicans torpedoed Debo Adegbile’s nomination to head up the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. The irony here is that the appeal Adegbile submitted on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is accused of killing a police officer, was based on the idea that Abu-Jamal’s Constitutional rights had been violated, and the Republican appointed judges who decided the case agreed with Adegbile and others at the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund.
So if Adegbile was on the right side of the law, why did the entire right wing, and several Senate Democrats, join forces to defeat him?
Fox News looped footage of Abu-Jamal to make Adegbile’s nomination about a scary black (alleged) cop killer with dreadlocks, but it wasn’t about that at all. This was about Adegbile, a brilliant attorney who’d argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of the Voting Rights Act, a man who no Republican lawmaker wanted to see take up the mantle of the Voting Rights Act with the force and power of the U.S. government behind him.
Adegbile would’ve been aggressive in his challenges to states enacting new disenfranchisement laws and Republicans knew it. All Democrats should’ve backed Adegbile since they would’ve benefited from those challenges, but as usual, they tucked their tails and ran.
Also, as NAACP’s Ben Jealous noted, this isn’t the first time an NAACP lawyer has been hung out to dry by Democrats. Lani Guinier, who was also nominated to head up the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, was thrown under the bus by then President Bill Clinton when the GOP misrepresented her position on quotas. See a pattern? If things continue along these lines, it’s hard to envision another Supreme Court Justice in the mold of Thurgood Marshall, and maybe that’s the point.
Watch the video below: