Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey hopes to sway enough Democrats to reject a Justice Department nominee who helped reduced the death sentence of a cop killer.
The Senate will vote Wednesday on the nomination of Debo Adegbile, selected by President Barack Obama to serve as assistant attorney general over the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
Toomey appeared Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity,"
saying he expects all 45 Republican senators to vote against Adegbile. At least one Democrat, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, has publicly stated he will vote against the nomination.
Toomey said several other Democrats are "seriously considering a no vote."
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Opposition to Adegbile stems from his defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a member of the radical group MOVE. Abu-Jamal in 1981 shot and killed 25-year-old Philadelphia police officer David Faulkner.
Abu-Jamal shot Faulkner in the back, then shot him multiple times in the chest and face. He bragged about the killing, Toomey said, and claimed he was a victim of a racist judicial system.
Abu-Jamal made disparaging statements to Faulkner's widow during his trial and constantly interrupted the proceedings.
Adegbile was acting president and director of litigation at the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund and worked to get Abu-Jamal's sentence reduced to life in prison.
Toomey and Democratic Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams wrote a commentary in The Wall Street Journal opposing Adegbile's nomination.
"This a very, very poor choice," Toomey told Fox News. "Debo Adegbile is a guy that committed the very considerable resources at his disposal, the legal defense fund of the NAACP, to joining a radical political campaign, to lionize and celebrate a cop killer, an unrepentant murderer. And to try to really make a mockery of our criminal justice system. To have this guy running the civil rights division of the Justice Department, it would be a tragedy."
Toomey said those who chose to lionize Abu-Jamal had "warped minds."
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