In response to today’s U.S. Senate vote to block the confirmation of Debo Adegbile as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Advancement Project issued the following statement:
“We are disappointed that members of the Senate have blocked Debo Adegbile’s confirmation as head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. “The position of the nation’s top civil rights enforcer is of critical importance, and it is shameful that the Senate allowed Adegbile’s stellar qualifications to get shouted down by distortions, spin and rhetoric.
He was an outstanding nominee for this role, bringing not only a breadth of expertise from his distinguished career as an attorney and advocate, but also a tireless passion for ensuring all Americans enjoy equal opportunities and protection. His work on a range of civil rights issues, from environmental justice to employment discrimination to fair housing, underscores his strong commitment to combating racial injustice, and changing policies to guarantee that those injustices cannot be repeated.”
“It is particularly discouraging that Adegbile’s nomination was voted down at a time when the country is facing an unprecedented wave of attacks on voting,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Penda D. Hair. “Adegbile defend the Voting Rights Act before the U.S. Supreme Court last summer, his second time defending our nation’s most effective civil rights legislation at the High Court. As the rights of voters of color become increasingly vulnerable, we looked forward to having him continue the fight for a just democracy in which all citizens have an equal opportunity to be heard at the ballot box. Combined with Adegbile’s record of speaking up for those in greatest need of protection, he was the right person for the job, and the Senate made the wrong decision in blocking his confirmation.”