This past week, the senate voted down President Obama's nominee to head up the Department of Justice's civil rights department. This nominee was Debo P. Adegbile. His proposed appointment drew the ire and nay votes of every Republican in the upper chamber. And to be fair, 7 Democrats joined them if bringing down this lawyer. The most popular reason given was that Adegbile had defended an accused cop killer in Philadelphia. That man's name is Mumia Abu-Jamal. Forget that these are not common or easy names to remember, just keep this in mind: Adegbile is a lawyer and Abu-Jamal is the convicted killer.
Now to get back to the nomination of Adegbile. Once again the Republicans got the facts all wrong - intentionally this time. Adegbile was not, as the GOP says, the lawyer for the cop killer, Abu-Jamal. Adegbile was only 7 years old at the time of the trial. Years later, Adegbile did became litigation director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. They represented Abu-Jamal on an appeal of his death sentence based on questionable instructions given to the jury. As it turned out, Mr. Adegbile was not on the legal team which DID PREVAIL. He merely headed the fund. The ultimate ruling didn't set aside the conviction, only the sentence. Instead of the death penalty, Abu-Jamal received life in prison without chance of parole. He didn't walk. This is outrageous.
So no innocent person went free nor did Adegbile have anything to do with the actual trial. Now Chief Justice Roberts and former President John Adams did actually defend murderers and prevailed. They weren't refused a fair chance to hold their offices for doing their jobs. Why should this happen to Adegbile? The answer is that it had nothing to do with this cop killer case. That's just the smoke screen. It's much bigger than that.
Chris Hayes on All In did a great job of explaining what is really behind this campaign of misinformation. It's about voter rights.
How do you make the connection between voting rights, a lawyer just doing his job and a nominee to head the civil rights division of the Department of Justice? Hayes adroitly connects the dots. Bottom line, this is a coordinated Republican effort to stifle minority voting, senior voting, and young/new voters. It's a choreographed effort by Republicans to hold onto or trample over voter rights.