- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, told Thursday morning’s crowd at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that the defeat of President Obama’s nominee demonstrates that “when we stand up and fight” on principle, “we can actually win.”

Senators on Wdnesday blocked President Obama’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights divisionWednesday in a bipartisan filibuster, with opponents saying his history defending a convicted cop-killer in the Supreme Court made him a poor choice.

Mr. Toomey had been a leading opponent of Debo P. Adegbile, who as an attorney for the NAACP backed appeals by former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal. He noted Thursday, though, that with the Senate’s new filibuster rules the odds were tough to block the nomination.


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“Sometimes you have to fight the fight, even when the odds aren’t good,” he said.

Seeing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. – lending even the prospect of a tie vote – was “the best news I had heard” in some time, Mr. Toomey said.

“We need to stand up to a president who thinks the laws of America don’t apply to him,” Mr. Toomey said.


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Mr. Adegbile’s defenders said he was just providing Abu-Jamal with a good defense, and to deny him the civil rights post because of that would be a subversion of the justice system. 

They said Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. defended a convicted killer in Florida during his time as a lawyer, yet that was never raised during his confirmation hearings to the federal courts.