March 5, 2014

"Meet The 7 Democrats Who Just Voted Down A Civil Rights Nominee For Supporting Civil Rights."

A headline at Think Progress about the Senate's no vote today on Debo Adegbile.
Although most of these senators have yet to offer an explanation for their votes... it is likely that their votes were motivated by a campaign to disqualify Adegbile because of a high profile case the NAACP LDF participated in during his time with that organization.

In 2008, a federal appeals court unanimously held — with two Reagan appointees on the panel — that procedures used during a convicted cop killer named Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death penalty hearing violated the Constitution. Specifically, the panel of predominantly Republican judges concluded that the trial judge gave the jury a confusing form that could have been read to require a death sentence unless every single juror agreed to a life sentence. The NAACP LDF filed an amicus brief on Abu-Jamal’s behalf.

48 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

Is this a purge?

dhagood said...

while i hold no brief for adegbile, i don't understand how his heading the the naacp legal defense fund when it supported mumia's court case is "a slap in the face" to law enforcement. he is a lawyer, he was doing lawyer stuff, and mumia has civil rights like everybody else.

if adegbile can't get confirmed after this kind of advocacy, how will any lawyer get confirmed for any political post? and if that's true, how would that be bad? perhaps someone has a cunning plan?

Gahrie said...

1) Abu-Jamal is unquestionably guilty of murdering a cop.

2)Adegbile wasn't just a lawyer for this guy....he was a supporter at political events also.

Hagar said...

Jonah Goldberg says that the main legitimate complaint against this guy is that he participated in public rallies agitating on behalf of the accused way beyond what is appropriate for even a defense lawyer.

Hagar said...

Goldberg said he could accept this guy for other government psitions, but not for the DoJ civil rights division. Not a good place for a partisan activist.

Michael K said...

Crack, is that you ?

Ann Althouse said...

@Gahrie The brief was about the sentencing phase and the Court of Appeals found that there was a constitutional violation.

That has absolutely nothing to do with whether he deserved to be convicted of murder. The challenge was to the procedure used in giving the death penalty.

Cedarford said...

I liken it to one of the Al Qaeda lawyers going beyond legal advocacy to attending Islamist rallies trying to get Muslims to support imprisoned terrorists.

Or a mob lawyer going on a media tour saying America is bigoted and racist towards Italian Americans, members of the purely social gathering Mexican Cartels and Salvadoran MS-13 mob..

A certain odor should cling to these lawyers. Forget about high Executive legal appointments or judgeships.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

That has absolutely nothing to do with whether he deserved to be convicted of murder. The challenge was to the procedure used in giving the death penalty.


I'm smelling a whitewash. I remember the rallies. They were "Free Mumia!" Not "the questionaires were confusing!"

Big Mike said...

That has absolutely nothing to do with whether he deserved to be convicted of murder. The challenge was to the procedure used in giving the death penalty.

But Mumia is not under a sentence of death; his sentence was commuted to life without parole. So who cares whether the judge made a minor technical error during the sentencing phase? Isn't that thoroughly mute?

And Bill's recollection matches mine -- the NAACP was demanding that Mumia be freed, though there was nothing tainted about the guilty verdict.

Bob Ellison said...

It's a small attempt at a purge. The Tea Party folks have done the same thing.

Cedarford said...

Althouse - Do you know what he said at those rallies? Did it go beyond stating to the crowd that he opposed the death penalty phase intructions?

John Hideraker at Powerline writes: The “free Mumia” movement is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of modern leftism, and Debo Adegbile was not just a participant in, but a ringleader of that that contemptible cause.

Titus said...

I like it when members of a party go against their party.

More please.

tits.

Big Mike said...

Back to the original issue, the Democrats who voted against Adegbile include two people who aren't up for reelection until 2018. So perhaps politics isn't the only reason they felt constrained to vote against him?

As to the rest, I find it interesting that Chris Coons voted against Adegbile. Maybe his reelection is not the foregone conclusion others think? Pryor is no surprise; he's up for reelection in a state that's going from red to incandescent red. The surprises are Landrieu and Hagan, voting "aye."

Titus said...

There will be no democrat senators in the south after the next election...

Chef Mojo said...

The surprises are Landrieu and Hagan, voting "aye."

Brain farts.

At this very moment, they're staring wide-eyed into their mirrors, screaming, "What the FUCK did I do?!??!"

Lydia said...

Bill Mike said...I find it interesting that Chris Coons voted against Adegbile.

Also interesting is that Coons is very close to Joe Biden.

FleetUSA said...

The passions about this case in the Philadelphia area have been enormous with most of the pro-Mumia camp coming from outside the state - mostly from radical elements at universities.

I can see the campaign adds if someone is running and voted for this guy. Remember Dukakis.

Marshal said...

Big Mike said...
As to the rest, I find it interesting that Chris Coons voted against Adegbile.


Delaware's part of the Philly media market. People remember it and are less forgiving, so Coons is acting much as Casey is.

Gahrie said...

That has absolutely nothing to do with whether he deserved to be convicted of murder. The challenge was to the procedure used in giving the death penalty.

Tell that to the Left, many of whom insist he is innocent, either out of zeal and/or ignorance.

Big Mike said...

Oops. Thoroughly moot.

Someday I'll figure out how to proofread my own typing.

mccullough said...

Get rid of the filibuster on nominees and the senators in the majority party have to take some hard votes. Barack Obama nominated an ideologue and a bi-partisan majority of senators said no. So now Obama will declare the Senate in recess and appoint him anyway. And then a bipartisan majority of Supreme Court members will tell him no.

Big Mike said...

Tell that to the Left, many of whom insist he is innocent, either out of zeal and/or ignorance.

Ignorance, I imagine. After all, Mumia didn't just confess -- he boasted about what he did!

Big Mike said...

@Marshall, I think you've got it.

YoungHegelian said...

Every now & then, a lefty steps over the line & people notice & remember (e.g. Lani Guinier, Van Jones), thus upending their careers. Just like Adegbile in this case. But what mystifies the ones who get caught, is what did they do to stick out when others did the same or worse squeak by?

That, indeed, is a very good question.

Michael K said...

The Mumia case goes well out of the country in impact. For example.

chickenlittle said...

Obama, predictably siding against the Mumia Seven, calls the whole thing a travesty: http://swampland.time.com/2014/03/05/senate-obama-nominee-debo-adegbile-travesty/

chickenlittle said...

From Mumia's Wiki bio:

Abu-Jamal was given the name Mumia in 1968 by his high school teacher, a Kenyan instructing a class on African cultures in which students took African classroom names.[12] According to Abu-Jamal, 'Mumia' means "Prince" and was the name of Kenyan anti-colonial African nationalists who fought against the British before Kenyan independence.[13]

That could easily explain Obama's affection for the man.

Dr Weevil said...

Hmmm: "the Left, many of whom insist he is innocent"? No doubt some do, but the slogan "Free Mumia" doesn't actually say anything about guilt or innocence. I suspect many of his supporters like him because they know he's guilty: they're glad he killed a white cop.

Chef Mojo said...

I suspect many of his supporters like him because they know he's guilty: they're glad he killed a white cop.

Bingo.

chickenlittle said...

Prediction: Mumia will get a Presidential pardon in 2017.

The list must be growing.

Paul Kirchner said...

Why do they say things like "with two Reagan appointees on the panel" and "the panel of predominantly Republican judges"? Are we to just assume we don't have justice in this country, just judges who make decisions purely on the basis of partisan politics? Or are we to believe it's only Republican judges who can't be expected to be impartial?

The Godfather said...

The big question is: Why did Obama make this nomination? He knows the Senate's in play. He's forced several vulnerable Democrats to make a decision between appealing to the base, and appealing to the broader electorate -- when the best thing for the Democrats would be not to have to make such a decision. Does BO have a complex or something?

paminwi said...

Obama made the decision to nominate this guy because Obama is an asshole. Remember, I WON?

He thought this vote was in the bag with Biden casting the tie breaking vote. That's why he was in the Senate coat room just waiting to make his big vote!

The guy from Delaware wrote quite a complete press release about why he voted the way he did. Now the question is will Harry Reid try to bring the vote forward again and get some of those who voted no to change their vote to yes? That is exactly why Harry baby voted no!

chickenlittle said...

@Godfather: Maybe he was just beholdered to his AG?

John Salmon said...

The plaque honoring the man Cook murdered (I don't give much credence to the conversion of a still unrepentant murderer) is in downtown Philadelphia; I've passed it many times. It is grotesque that Obama would nominate a man looking to free his murderer-as a cause. Had he been simply acting as a lawyer, that would be different.

tim maguire said...

I guess I don't know enough about it. The news accounts focus on Adegbile's legal work. If so, this is a dangerous precedent. Our justice system will fall apart if lawyers have to worry about the career implications of defending an unpopular defendant.

But...Bob Ellison said...It's a small attempt at a purge. The Tea Party folks have done the same thing.

What are you talking about? Who is being purged? (Adegbile did not lose his job, he was turned down for another job.) Who is doing the purging?

What has the Tea Party done that is in any way similar to the Senate rejecting a Presidential nomination?

What in the world are you talking about?

Brando said...

Opposition to Adegbile should absolutely not have anything to do with the fact that he defended Mumia as his attorney--otherwise we're basically making the argument that some people shouldn't have a right to counsel. If the lawyer did anything unethical or illegal in representing him, that's another story and let that be hashed out.

But if the opposition is focused on activities he was engaged in outside of his job--beyond his duty as an advocate for his client--then that's fair game.

Politically though what a dumb move by Obama. Doesn't his team do any scouting beforehand to determine if his own party will line up for his nominees? How could they have not seen that this wouldn't fly with several Democrats? And it's not like they can turn this into a political win.

It's as though they used up all their strategic brains on winning the two presidential elections (not that the GOP didn't help make it easy for them) and then had no brains left to actually get anything done.

furious_a said...

You know to whom those seven Senate Democrats should pay reparations?

Crack Emcee.

SGT Ted said...

Obama was attempting to appoint a radical racial activist to the Civil Rights division that is already full of corrupt racists and feminist activist sexists.

How about nominating people that believe in everybody's civil rights, including those of the political opposition?

RecChief said...

"Or are we to believe it's only Republican judges who can't be expected to be impartial?"

Yes, that is exactly what left liberals wnat you to believe. you need to learn that to them, conservative thought is not just a different of opinion, but to them it is a moral failing, evil incarnate, and therefore illegitimate.

MattL said...

This is a disturbing outcome. I'm sure Mumia was just some guy in Adegbile's neighborhood.

EDH said...

I can see the campaign adds if someone is running and voted for this guy. Remember Dukakis.


These Democrats are probably thinking there might be video tape of Adegbile at one of these "Free Mumia" demonstrations.

Jason said...

NPR logic: Senators from Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Arkansas and Indiana = "a handful of Southern Democrats."

http://m.nationalreview.com/corner/372697/handful-what-now-jonah-goldberg

RecChief said...

seen over at Instapundit:

"Bipartisanship is the new racism"

NPR characterizes the senators as "Southern Democrats" but here is the list:
Chris Coons (Del.)

Bob Casey (Pa.),

Mark Pryor (Ark.),

Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.),

Joe Manchin (W.V.),

Joe Donnolly (Ind.)

John Walsh (Mont.)

And of course Harry Reid (Nev.) who did it for procedural grounds.

A bit of a surprise that the Mason-Dixon Line is actually the 49th parallel

furious_a said...

If I had a cop-killing son he'd look like Mumia.

furious_a said...

That's why [Biden] was in the Senate coat room just waiting to make his big vote!

The image of Slow Joe cooling his heels in a closet -- all for nothing -- is the cherry on the whipped cream atop the icing on the cake.

cokaygne said...

Actually, it was a pretty good political move. In the first place it fires up the base. Landrieu and Hagan are going to keep their seats only if the base turns out. The other Dems come from states with fewer African-Americans.

0bama probably does not give a shit who runs the Civil Rights division. He just gave Casey and Coons a chance to show that they are home town boys who support their local cops. Pryor and the others got a chance to demonstrate their "independence". Everybody won, except Adelgbile, who got thrown under the bus.

Biden must have been sweating bullets while waiting in the cloak room. Hillary just erased the "Reset" fiasco by comparing Putin to Hitler. What was Biden gonna have to do to erase a tie-breaking vote on behalf of a nominee who was a cheerleader for a cop-killer?