Rejection of Obama’s DOJ Nominee Means Trouble for Black Defendants

The Senate’s rejection of Debo Adegbile’s nomination to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division could have a chilling effect on defendants’ access to representation.

Debo Adegbile during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill Jan. 8, 2014 Alex Wong/Getty Images

This is what makes the treatment of Adegbile so troubling. It sent a message that only likable defendants should be taken on by the best and brightest attorneys—those who hope for a future in power. This is not the message of our Constitution, and this should not be the message sent by our members of Congress or by their confirmation process.

Keli Goff is The Root’s special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.