Tea Party Patriots Drives Defeat of Debo Adegbile Nomination to Department of Justice

On Wednesday, March 5, the Senate voted 52-47 against President Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Ahead of the vote, Tea Party Patriots actively encouraged our members and activists to call their respective Senators and urge them to vote “no” on the nomination, and the Senate voted to defeat it.  This is a victory for America.


The nomination had received a substantial amount of criticism – even from some Democratic Senators, including Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. Still, Adegbile’s confirmation was important enough to the Obama Administration that Vice President Joe Biden went to Capitol Hill, ready to cast his tie-breaking vote if need be. The Senate vote is good news for Americans who value rule of law and individual liberties over personal preferences. Obama’s nominee however, has a radical past.


For starters, Debo Adegbile worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) from 2001 to 2013.[1] There, he led the charge when LDF took on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in 1981 for murdering Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. Though the facts of the murder are uncontested, Adegbile and the LDF spent years trying to appeal Abu-Jamal’s conviction on the grounds that he is a victim of what was a racist justice system.  In March of 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, thankfully, upheld the conviction.


If that weren’t enough, Adegbile also opposes the use of background checks for potential employees. [2] In 2012, the Obama Administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that background checks for felony convictions are racially discriminatory. While the EEOC’s guidelines don’t have the force of law, they make clear employers that don’t hire felons will need to be prepared to defend that decision to the Commission. What does this have to do with Adegbile?


When answering written questions from Sen. Chuck Grassley, Adegbile said, if confirmed, the EEOC’s ruling would guide his own decisions. “If employers do perform background checks, the EEOC has released guidance on the subject,” said Adegbile.


It’s clear that Adegbile’s views alone should disqualify him from a high-level position at the government institution responsible for administering justice in the United States. Fighting for an appeal for a convicted cop killer based on alleged racism in 1981, is one thing. Arguing that convicted felon should also have the right to work anywhere he wants, violates basic freedoms and rights of American citizens, not to mention business owners. Today, the Senate made the right call. It’s a shame President Obama nominated him in the first place.


To read Tea Party Patriots Co-Founder Jenny Beth Martin’s statement on the victory in the Senate, please click here.