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Will Senate Confirm Cop-Killer Advocate?

1:01 PM, Mar 3, 2014 • By TERRY EASTLAND
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At his confirmation hearing, Toomey and Williams write, Adegbile “was questioned in detail about his own opinions of the incendiary allegations of a racist police conspiracy made by the Legal Defense Fund, [but he] avoided answering the inquiries. Instead he repeatedly deflected questions, stating that he was not the lead lawyer on the case—as if, while acting as litigation director and later president of the legal defense fund, he had failed to notice what was said by its lawyers about the group’s most famous client.”

The list of law enforcement groups opposing the nomination includes not only the Fraternal Order of Police but also the National Sheriffs Association, the National Association of Police Organizations, and the National Narcotic Officers Associations, among others.

Toomey and Williams point out that their concern is not that Adegbile acted as an attorney for a criminal defendant. “The right to counsel is a fundamental part of America’s criminal justice system, and no lawyer should be faulted for the crimes of his clients.” But what Adegbile did was “to seize on a case and turn it into a political platform from which to launch an extreme attack on the justice system.”

Should a lawyer involved in such a project head up the most important civil rights office in the government, one that enforces, not incidentally, criminal civil rights laws? That is the unusual question the Adegbile nomination raises, and it’s one that deserves to be taken seriously by every member of the Senate.

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