Huffpost Politics

Bob Casey Opposes Obama Nominee Debo Adegbile

Posted: Updated:
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., speaks during a news conference Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Casey discussed President Barack Obama's upcoming State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) plans to vote against President Barack Obama's appointment for a top Justice Department position because the nominee previously tried to overturn a death sentence, according to

Casey is believed to be the first Congressional Democrat to publicly express opposition to Obama's nomination of Debo Adegbile. The statement Casey provided to on Friday said "I respect that our system of law ensures the right of all citizens to legal representation no matter how heinous the crime,” but added "The vicious murder of Officer Faulkner in the line of duty and the events that followed in the 30 years since his death have left open wounds for Maureen Faulkner and her family as well as the City of Philadelphia. After carefully considering this nomination and having met with both Mr. Adegbile as well as the Fraternal Order of Police, I will not vote to confirm the nominee."

Adegbile, a former NAACP Legal Defense Fund official, was approved by a Senate Judiciary Committee in February. The pick of Adegbile has come under fire from Republicans and law enforcement groups for his role in overturning the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther who was convicted in the 1981 killing of a white Philadelphia police officer.

As a legal defender for the NAACP, Adebgile's job was to ensure that the "American criminal justice system is administered fairly and without regard to race." According to an NAACP Legal Defense Fund statement, claims of constitutional error made by Adebgile's team in how the case was handled were valid. reports Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) have voiced opposition to the pick. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said picking Adegbile would politicize the Justice Department.

Democrats have mostly stood by Obama’s pick, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) saying Adegbile “didn’t deserve the disparagement" and that "Debo has earned a reputation for working to bring members from both sides of the aisle together." reports that Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, called Adegbile "one of the preeminent civil rights attorneys of his generation."

The full senate is set to vote on Monday. Even with Casey's vote against, Adegbile confirmation could proceed by securing 51 votes on Monday, according to

Numerous Obama appointments have been met with resistance, making the process slow and ensnared in partisan conflict.

Also on HuffPost:

The 14 Senators That Saved The Day On Default
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Senate panel OKs Adegbile, criticism grows over Abu-Jamal

More criticism of Obama pick for Justice post -

Debo Adegbile - Bio, News, Photos - Washington Times

US Senate panel OKs nomination despite Corbett, Toomey objections

Casey opposes Obama nominee tied to Mumia

Senate panel OKs Adegbile, criticism grows over Abu-Jamal

Civil Rights Division nominee Debo Adegbile deserves better - Los ...

Debo Adegbile, ex-head of NAACP fund, OKd by Senate committee ...

Justice's Civil Rights nominee has resume that includes 'Sesame ...

Says Debo Adegbile "was nominated to serve as a judge on the US Circuit Court ...

Debo Adegbile, ex-head of NAACP fund, OKd by Senate committee to run civil ...

Toomey and Williams: The Justice Nominee and The Cop Killer

Widow of murdered cop wants to testify at confirmation hearing for ...