The White House is dropping the nomination of Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs to serve on the U.S. District Court in the face of heavy opposition from liberal groups.
Boggs was first nominated by President Obama in December 2013, but never made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee led by Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.).
Democrats opposed the judge because of votes he took in the state legislature during his service there between 200-04. He voted to retain the Confederate flag on Georgia’s flag, to add a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, to create “Choose Life” license plates, and to publish the names of abortion providers online.
After Boggs’ nomination hearing before the committee in May, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was unwilling to bring the nominee to the floor for an up-or-down vote.
“Here is a man who has been outspoken in denying equality for people to be married. He has been outspoken in trying to recreate the flag of the rebels, the Confederates,” Reid said then. “He has been — he’s a person who, in my opinion, is not in the mainstream, and I don’t think he deserves to be a federal judge.”
The nomination would have had a much easier time in the 114th Congress, with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) taking the gavel from Leahy.
Georgia GOP Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss issues a joint statement last night: “With regret” they announced “the president will not re-nominate Judge Michael Boggs to the United States District Court for a third time.”
“We were informed of the president’s decision by Denis McDonough, the president’s chief of staff, prior to Thanksgiving,” they said. “We regret the president’s decision, as we have supported Judge Boggs throughout this process and remain steadfast in our support. Judge Boggs has served the state with honor and integrity as an appellate and trial judge, and he has demonstrated a commitment to improving the criminal justice system through his work with the Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Council and Drug Courts.”
“Throughout the process, Judge Boggs has exhibited enormous restraint and the temperament expected of a jurist. These traits will serve him well for the opportunities we are confident the future holds for Judge Boggs. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the people of Georgia.”
After the 113th Congress ended without a vote on Boggs, NARAL released a statement claiming victory for derailing the nomination: “Senators heard loud and clear the unified voices calling for a federal bench that puts constitutional rights above personal ideology. Boggs’ defeat is a victory for women, LGBT equality and racial justice. At a time where our rights are under fire in the courts, Americans will not accept the elevation of a nominee with a clear history of anti-choice bias as the price of a ‘deal’ struck to fill federal judicial vacancies.”