Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, Texas Senator Ted Cruz expressed his strong opposition to President Obama's nominee, Debo Adegbile, to head the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. During his time in leadership at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund [LDF], Adegbile volunteered to advocate for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who murdered Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. In 2011, LDF attorneys were successful in getting Abu-Jamal's death sentence overturned.
"Mr. President, this is insulting to law enforcement officers everywhere," Cruz said. "I stand with the Fraternal Order of Police in opposition to Debo Adegbile."
In his speech, Cruz stressed Adegbile's role in Abu-Jamal's case wasn't about proving innocence or guilt, but about volunteering as his advocate in the name of race. During a pro-Mumia event in 2011, LDF attorneys expressed the great "honor" they felt in representing him.
"We all should agree that violent criminals should be punished and we all should agree that those who go out of their way to celebrate, to lionize, convicted cop killers are not suitable for major leadership roles at the Department of Justice," Cruz said. "Under Adegbile's supervision, LDF lawyers fanned the flames of racial tension through rallies and protests and a media campaign all to portray Mumia Abu-Jamal, an unrepentant cop killer, as a political prisoner."
In January, the Fraternal Order of Police sent a scathing letter to President Obama opposing Adegbile's nomination. Shortly after, five major law enforcement agencies sent similar letters. Pennsylvania Democrat Senator Bob Casey has announced he will oppose Adegbile's nomination and Senator Cruz encouraged other Democrats to do the same. A simple majority of 51 votes are needed for Adegbile to solidify his position. Earlier this week, Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Daniel Faulkner, launched a petition to oppose the nomination. A vote is scheduled for Wednesday, March 5 at 11:45 am et.