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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's pick to be the government's chief civil rights attorney withdrew his nomination for the post Monday.
Obama tapped Debo Adegbile for the Justice Department job last year. But a bipartisan group of senators blocked his nomination earlier this year because he had sought to get the sentence of a convicted cop killer overturned.
The White House argued at the time that the decision to reject Adegbile's nomination set a troubling precedent that could dissuade lawyers with aspirations to serve in government from taking on unpopular clients of causes.
Adegbile spent much of his career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where he argued before the Supreme Court that Mumia Abu-Jamal's conviction for killing a Philadelphia police officer should be overturned because of discrimination in jury selection. Abu-Jamal is now serving a life sentence without parole.
Adegbile is returning to private practice and will be a partner at the law firm of WilmerHale.
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