With the near-certainty that Debo Adegbile, the administration’s nominee to head Justice’s civil rights division, is not going to get confirmed any time soon (if ever), Attorney General Eric Holder named deputy chief of staff Molly Moran on Thursday morning to be acting head of the division.
While Adegbile is still listed on the Senate’s calendar, his confirmation was initially rejected in March as seven Democrats joined fierce GOP opponents to block him. The opposition stemmed from his participation in an appeal filed on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal — who was convicted in the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer.
Jocelyn Samuels, who had been acting head for civil rights, recently left Justice to be counsel for civil rights at the Department of Health and Human Services. Moran has been been deputy chief of staff for the past four years, overseeing, among other things, the department’s voting rights lawsuits. Before that, she worked in the Office of Legal Policy.