"Wow. What a tragedy. For the Senate. For the country. For Debo.
This how the Senate, and other people with power and resources, view civil rights attorneys. 'Adegbile came under fire for his representation of a convicted killer of a police officer and his leadership tenure at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.' I was an LDF attorney. I helped spring former Black Panther leader Geronimo Pratt from prison after 27 years for a crime he did not commit. I helped reform the LA County Sheriff's Department through the historic Thomas class action. I helped overturn the conviction and death sentence of an indigent black man on Death Row in Georgia for rape, sodomy and murder of a six year old girl. The state then dropped all charges for lack of evidence. Rejecting Debo is a slap in the face of civil rights lawyers who represent unpopular people in unpopular causes.
Plus, Debo was a child star on Sesame Street.
My LDF colleague Bill Lann Lee was acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Justice Department under Clinton - but Bill never did criminal defense work, and even he was never confirmed by the Senate.
Ambitious young lawyers will be inspired to follow safe career paths as prosecutors and corporate lawyers. Like Sonya Sotomayor.
And people wonder why it is so hard to do the work we do.
We would do it all over again."