Despite the fact that our system of justice works when accused criminals are allowed to have at least one lawyer to fight against the full might of the government, we defense attorneys are still daily insulted by people who think that if we defend bad guys, we must be bad guys too. This is despite the fact that defense attorneys are the ones who are making sure the government doesn’t just stop and search everyone all the time, ignore all your rights, and lock you up without reason.
Not good enough for the US Congress. They denied the appointment of one of our nation’s greatest defense attorneys today to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division because the guy had spent his career defending people’s civil rights. Clearly, this makes him perfectly unsuitable for the position. Worse yet, many Democrats (including my own Senator) voted against him.
Obama rightly criticized those who voted against him: “The Senate’s failure to confirm Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice is a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant. As a lawyer, Mr. Adgebile has played by the rules. And now, Washington politics have used the rules against him. The fact that his nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation of a defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justice — and those who voted against his nomination denied the American people an outstanding public servant.”
Apparently the only person who should be eligible to head the Civil Rights division is someone who has absolutely no experience with it. Because otherwise, he or she may actually take action to address problems or something, and we can’t have that.
All lawyers should be insulted by this.