Protestors at a rally for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. (Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom)


Senator Robert  Casey Jr. (D-PA) today announced that he will vote against President Obama’s nominee for a top Justice Department post because of the lawyer’s much-publicized work to overturn the death sentence of the notorious killer of a Philadelphia police officer.

Without specifying Debo Adegbile’s high-profile role as a NAACP lawyer in championing Mumia Abu-Jamal, the convicted killer, Casey said he “will not vote to confirm” Adegbile as assistant attorney general in charge of the Civil Rights Division.

Pennsylvania’s other U.S. senator, Republican Pat Toomey, has spoken out against the Adegbile nomination for weeks, as The Foundry has reported. Toomey teamed with Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams in urging the Senate to reject Adegbile, most recently in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Casey had said little until now.

In a written statement, Casey said he had met with Adegbile, a  former official of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, as well as representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police, which opposes his nomination because of  the lawyer’s ties to the man who shot  Officer Daniel Faulkner multiple times on a Center City Philadelphia street in 1981.  Casey said:

“I respect that our system of law ensures the right of all citizens to legal representation no matter how heinous the crime. At the same time, it is important that we ensure that Pennsylvanians and citizens across the country have full confidence in their public representatives — both elected and appointed. The vicious murder of Officer Faulkner in the line of duty and the events that followed in the 30 years since his death have left open wounds for [his widow] Maureen Faulkner and her family as well as the city of Philadelphia.”

This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.