Few have ever heard the name Debo Adegbile. He's President Barack Obama's nominee to head the civil rights division of the Justice Department.
A few months ago, his nomination would have been a non-starter -- there is more than a whiff of radicalism in his past. But we are in a new world. Sen. Harry Reid is now absolute monarch of the Senate. Republicans are largely irrelevant. They cannot offer amendments to legislation. They cannot filibuster. I suppose they can write letters to the editor, and march outside the chamber wearing sandwich boards.
Before the Reid invocation of the "nuclear option" eliminating the filibuster, Adegbile would have been considered too controversial. But now, the administration can have its head on nominations.
Adegbile is a passionate advocate for racial quotas in hiring and university admissions, and also urges that employers not be permitted to do background checks on potential hires -- presumably because more African-Americans have criminal records than other applicants. He has encouraged the president to nominate judges who recognize that "ratified treaties" are the law of land. Well, no argument there, but he goes further. Adegbile wants judges who will decree that "customary international law" is the law of the United States as well, asking for God only knows what mischief. Who would decide what "customary international law" is? By what authority would it be imposed on Americans? Investor's Business Daily reports that Adegbile supports George Soros's campaign to create a new "progressive" constitution. If that doesn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you're not paying attention.
It was Adegbile's role in the case of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal that incurred the wrath of Justice Department employees though. The union representing FBI agents, which rarely expresses itself on nominations, along with the Fraternal Order of Police and other law enforcement groups, have written to Attorney General Eric Holder to protest Adegbile's nomination. Carl Rowan Jr., a former deputy U.S. marshal, FBI special agent and chief of police, wrote: "He isn't the first questionable nomination made by a president who ... seems drawn to those with radical backgrounds, but this one is an open slap in the face to everyone in law enforcement."