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The U.S. Senate Republicans, with the assistance of several Democrats, blocked a President Barack Obama nominee for a Justice Department position.
Obama had nominated Debo Adegbile for the head of the civil rights division of the Justice Department, but a 47-52 vote blocked the nomination, with seven Democrats crossing the aisle, reports Reuters.
Adegbile is a former director of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund, known for both his civil rights work as well as once representing a "cop killer," which is what felled the nomination. The Fraternal Order of Police said his nomination was "a thumb in the eye of law enforcement" and called on senators to reject the civil rights lawyer.
In 1981, he had represented Mumia Abdu-Jamal, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the killing of a Philadelphia police officer.
Adegbile's advocates felt he should have been nominated as he is quite qualified for the position and the cop killer case shouldn't be held against him.
President Obama also spoke out after the Senate vote, calling it a "travesty," according to the Los Angeles Times. It's a "travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant."
The defeat was a surprise as it was expected that Adegbile would pass the nomination, but it seemed many who voted against him cited the cop-killing representation as what lead them to vote against his confirmation.
Despite the defeat, it's possible that another vote could be called for later as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a procedural move, voted no.
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons