The Senate blocked controversial, Obama-nominated Debo P. Adegbile from becoming chief of the Justice Department‚??s Civil Rights Division. According to the Washington Post:
Adegbile‚??s nomination had revived the racially charged legacy of the murder of a Philadelphia police officer more than three decades ago ‚?? a case in which, long after the trial, Adegbile played a small role ‚?? and the vote exposed the anxiety facing many red-state Democratic senators as the midterm elections approach.
Voting against Adegbile were seven Democrats, “the¬†largest number of Democrats to vote against an Obama nominee,” reported the Post.
Harry Reid (D-Nev) told reporters after Adegbile was blocked with a 47-52 vote (Adegbile needed just 51 votes)¬†that,¬†‚??We were very close to getting this good man nominated.‚?Ě
More from the Post:
Reid had spoken in defense of Adegbile and initially voted in favor but later switched his vote to no, making him the eighth Democrat to vote against the nominee. But Reid did so only to reserve his right as Senate leader to bring up the nomination again.
According to FoxNews, “Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly said afterward he was ‘concerned about his ability to work with law enforcement’ if confirmed.”
Maureen Faulkner, widow of the Philadelphia officer killed by “unrepentant cop-killer” Abu-Jamal, told Fox that “Adegbile was ‘the wrong person for the job.’ and thanked Democratic senators who ‘broke ranks and had the courage to do the right thing.'”
Obama though, stood by his choice. He¬†called the blockage a “travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant.”
FoxNews reported that:
In a written statement, Obama said: “The fact that his nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation of a defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justice — and those who voted against his nomination denied the American people an outstanding public servant.”