Bob Casey Won't Say If He'll Vote for Biden Nominee Linked to Anti-Israel, Anti-Police Groups

Bob Casey (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
January 29, 2024

Sen. Bob Casey, perhaps more than any other senator, faces a dilemma over Biden judicial nominee Adeel Mangi.

The Pennsylvania Democrat could vote to confirm Mangi, who has come under fire for his work with anti-Israel and anti-police organizations. Or Casey could buck his party by voting against President Joe Biden's "historic" nominee to the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the first Muslim nominated to a federal appeals court.

A vote for Mangi could come back to bite Casey during a tough reelection cycle, in large part because Mangi, if confirmed, will have jurisdiction over the Keystone State. A spokesman for Casey's Republican opponent, Dave McCormick, said a vote for Mangi is "a vote against Pennsylvania's Jewish communities and hardworking law enforcement." Pro-Israel groups and police unions have called on senators to vote against Mangi over his left-wing affiliations.

The White House is not offering Casey or other swing-state senators an easy way out. A spokesman for Biden said last week that the president is "extremely proud" to have nominated Mangi.

Mangi's nomination is on shaky ground after revelations that he served on the advisory board of a think tank that has accused Israel of genocide and hosted convicted terrorist financiers at a 9/11 anniversary event. Mangi served on the board of directors of the Rutgers Law School Center for Race, Security and Rights, a left-wing group that wants to defund police departments and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Washington Free Beacon reported. He currently serves on the advisory board of a left-wing group that lobbied to parole Mumia Abu-Jamal, a black nationalist who murdered Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.

Mangi during his December confirmation hearing dodged questions about the Center for Race, Security and Rights. He said he condemns terrorism, but stopped short of criticizing the center over its anti-Israel rhetoric.

Still, Casey isn't saying how he will vote on Mangi, who works in private practice. The Democrat has not commented publicly on Mangi. His Senate office did not respond to requests for comment, and his campaign declined comment.

"This is Bob Casey's playbook—hide from the voters of Pennsylvania and then quietly rubber stamp Biden's radical nominees," said McCormick campaign press secretary Nate Sizemore. "It's time the commonwealth had a senator who isn't afraid to demonstrate moral clarity."

Casey has opposed at least one Democratic nominee before. In 2014, he voted against confirming Obama Justice Department nominee Debo Adegbile over Adegbile's representation of Abu-Jamal, who was originally sentenced to death in the murder of Faulkner. The Third Circuit, where Mangi will serve if confirmed, overturned Abu-Jamal's death sentence in 2011.

"It is important that we ensure that Pennsylvanians and citizens across the country have full confidence in their public representatives—both elected and appointed," Casey said in a statement opposing Adegbile at the time.

Mangi has not said where he stands on the Abu-Jamal case or on the issue of defunding police. He is on the advisory board of the Alliance of Families for Justice, which held a rally in 2021 to call for the parole of Abu-Jamal, Mutulu Shakur, H. Rap Brown, and other convicted cop-killers. The group referred to the killers as "freedom fighters" and suggested they were set up because they were prominent figures in radical black nationalist groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army.

The National Association of Police Organizations, a union with 240,000 members, said in a letter to senators last week that Mangi's work for the Alliance of Families for Justice is "disqualifying."

Mangi served on the board of directors of the Legal Aid Society of New York until November 2021. During his tenure, the group called to defund the New York City Police Department and ICE. The Legal Aid Society sued New York City to release hundreds of inmates from jail during the coronavirus pandemic, including a career criminal charged with murdering his girlfriend and another man who was charged with attempted rape 10 days after he was released from jail.