A lame duck president with little left to do, Barack Obama is taking one more shot at law enforcement with his latest appointment to the Civil Rights Commission, Debo Adegbile. Adegbile is better known as the top lawyer for cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Obama’s choice of Adegbile is controversial for multiple reason, not least of which the fact that he was rejected by the Senate in 2014 for a top spot at the Justice Department.
The Obama administration announced on Thursday that it was nominating Adegbile for a six-year term on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Unlike its appointment of Adegbile in 2014 to chair the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, this nomination does not require approval from the Senate.
Adegbile became the first Obama appointment that was rejected after Senate Democrats pushed through the “nuclear option” to eliminate the possibility of filibustering nominees, allowing for appointments to get through the Senate with only a simple majority.
Seven Democrats joined Senate Republicans to block the nomination in a 52-47 vote after concerns were raised about Adegbile’s role in defending Abu-Jamal, who murdered Philadelphia cop Daniel Faulkner and has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
As mentioned, this appointment, versus the 2014 one, does not require Senate approval. The Civil Rights Commission consists of eight seats, four appointed by Congress, and four appointed by the president. Each seat is held for six-year terms. The Commission is set up as a federal fact-finding agency meant to investigate Civil Rights issues, and is touted as a bipartisan group.
However, Obama’s appointment of Adegbile indicates he is going out swinging in his fundamental changing of America.