Debo’s Downfall

Pennsylvania Sens. Pat Toomey and Mike Fitzpatrick hold a news conference with the Fraternal Order of Police / AP

Seven Senate Democrats joined 44 Republicans on March 5 to oppose the nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division—a vote President Barack Obama labeled a “travesty” and pundits denounced as “racist.” The bipartisan blockage arose from the unlikely coalition of a moderate Republican congressman, a popular African-American Democrat, a Tea Party senator, a powerful labor union, and a long-grieving widow.