GOP senators slam Adegbile’s nomination

Republican senators hammered President Obama’s nominee, Debo Adegbile to be an assistant attorney general.

The Senate will vote Wednesday afternoon on whether to end debate on Adegbile's nomination, which will require only 51 votes.

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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 and Abu-Jamal is no longer on death row.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said Adegbile is “unfit to serve” because of his role in defending a  “coldblooded cop killer.”

Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) joined Toomey in voicing opposition to Adegbile’s nomination in floor speeches Tuesday.

“This nominee is not suited for the position,” Flake said. “I believe we would not be considering his nomination if the Majority had not deployed the nuclear option.”

Some Democrats who face tough reelections in November might oppose Adegbile’s nomination. Police organizations, such as the Fraternal Order of Police, also opposed the nomination.