A Republican front and help from seven Democrats defeated the nomination of felon-friendly DOJ civil-rights division nominee Debo Adegbile.
The Democrats joined Republicans in finding that Adegbile’s antics on behalf of convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who killed policeman Daniel Faulkner in 1981 in cold blood, should disqualify him for the job of running the DOJ's civil-rights division. This development is, according to the Washington Times, “a major blow to Mr. Obama:”
[The defeat of the nomination] comes even after Democrats changed the rules last year to overcome filibusters with just 50 votes — but on Wednesday Majority Leader Harry Reid couldn’t even muster all of his own troops.
A furious [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid hinted that Republicans’ opposition was based on racism, pointing to to several other black nominees that GOP senators had opposed earlier. But in the case of Mr. Adegbile, his defense of Abu-Jamal was too much for even some Democrats.
The Senate blocked Mr. Adegbile on a 52-47 vote, with eight Democrats voting along with Republicans for the filibuster. One of those was Mr. Reid, who had to change to vote for the filibuster in order to be able to ask for an eventual re-vote — which he did.
“Maybe it’s time that America had a good discussion on civil rights,” Mr. Reid fumed.
But Mr. Obama seemed resigned to defeat, calling the vote “a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks.”
Less noticed than Mr. Adegbile’s embrace of Mumia Abu-Jamal was his support for the idea that employers should be hampered from letting a job applicant’s criminal record influence hiring decisions. Mr. Adegbile based both on his belief that the United States is a racist society. Just asking: Does President Obama believe that the staunch opposition to the Adegbile nomination by Maureen Faulkner, widow of the slain officer, was based on "wildly unfair character attacks?"
The seven Democrats who supported the filibuster: Senators Bob Casey of Pennsylvania (where Officer Faulkner was slain), Chris Coons of Delaware, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and John Walsh of Montana.