Senator: Obama nominee 'unfit to serve'

Getty Images

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) on Monday ripped President Obama for nominating Debo Adegbile to be an assistant attorney general, saying he is "unfit to serve."

“A vote on that nomination is scheduled this week in the Senate,” Toomey wrote in an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer. “This affront cannot stand.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The Senate will vote Tuesday on whether to end debate on Adegbile's nomination, which will require only 51 votes. After, at most, eight hours of debate, the Senate is then expected to confirm him.

Adegbile's nomination has become controversial because he was director of litigation for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund (LDF) when it defended Mumia Abu-Jamal in an appeals case. 

Abu-Jamal was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a Philadelphia police officer by shooting him several times at point-blank range. But the NAACP argued that the case and sentence were racially motivated.

“A group of political opportunists fabricated claims of racism, spread lies about the case, and organized rallies that, amazingly, portrayed Abu-Jamal as the victim,” Toomey wrote. “Thanks in part to the efforts of Adegbile, today Mumia Abu-Jamal is alive and off of death row.”

Toomey criticized Adegbile for not showing remorse during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, where he said the appeals process for Abu-Jamal showed America's commitment to follow judicial procedure, even in hard cases.

“This heartbreaking outcome is not justice,” Toomey said. “The fact that Adegbile does not understand that makes him unfit to serve as a leader in the Justice Department.”