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By: Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEOPosted on March 5, 2014

Today the Senate had the opportunity to move forward to confirm Debo Adegbile as the next head of the Civil Rights Division at DOJ. We’ve blogged about the many ways in which Mr. Adegbile was an ideal candidate to lead the Division at this time. 

There is wide agreement over Mr. Adegbile’s qualifications for the job. One of the leading civil rights attorneys of his generation, he twice argued before the Supreme Court and worked for a decade at the NAACP LDF. But today his nomination was blocked.  

The Civil Rights Division, and indeed the nation, are worse off for it. As the President put it:

“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.” 

Today’s vote was shameful — but the Senate has the opportunity to do the right thing. We urge Senator Reid to bring Mr. Adegbile up for a vote again and the Senate to swiftly confirm him. The Civil Rights Division deserves his leadership now. 

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