Justice Department division leading Ferguson investigation hasn't had a director in more than a year

In this April 29, 2009 file photo Debo Adegbile, then an attorney with the Legal Defense and Educational Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People speaks outside the Supreme Court in Washington. Adegbile, President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division has failed a Senate test vote and his confirmation is in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, which has been tasked by Attorney General Eric Holder to help lead an investigation into the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has been without a confirmed leader since July 2013. And because of Congressional gridlock and election-year politics, it’s likely that the civil rights department will not get a confirmed assistant attorney general any time soon. In March, the Senate blocked President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the division, civil rights lawyer Debo Adegbile. Seven Democrats joined Republicans in opposing Adegbile because of his leadership role at the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, which in 2009 submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia policeman.

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