WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 4, 2014) — Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice — AAJC, issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s filibuster of Debo Adegbile, President Obama’s nominee for Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division:
“We are extremely disappointed and shocked that some lawmakers would filibuster Mr. Adegbile’s nomination on a petty detail when the totality of his experience demonstrates that he is absolutely qualified for the position.
It’s clear that politics were in play when Mr. Adegible’s nomination was blocked simply because he provided an American his constitutional right of having a lawyer. It’s a shame that following the Constitution disqualifies a person from serving his government in the eyes of a few senators.
The Civil Rights Division is critical to protecting the rights of all Americans, particularly ethnic, racial, gender and religious minorities, as well as the disabled. And it needs a leader with a strong civil rights record like Mr. Adegbile. He has spent his career being a voice for vulnerable communities. Whether leading the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or the charge to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, Mr. Adegbile has strongly defended civil rights. He twice defended the Voting Rights Act before the Supreme Court and spearheaded efforts, along with Advancing Justice — AAJC, to ensure the voting rights of all Americans are protected. Today’s action in the Senate is a travesty of justice and of our political system.
Our legal system is based on the notion that everyone, popular or not, is entitled to legal representation. Punishing those who take an oath to uphold the law for granting that representation mocks the very foundation on which this country was built.”