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Michael Boggs

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved six nominees to federal courts in Georgia, clearing the way for the full Senate to vote on these nominees. Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT), however, held back one nominee, the controversial Michael Boggs.
[O]ne of the nominees, Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs, a conservative Democrat, hit a roadblock when liberals objected to his record in the state Legislature. Boggs voted to reinstate a version of the Confederate flag as the state flag, opposed same-sex marriage and took positions on abortion that critics say would have limited women's rights.

The Judiciary Committee decided to move ahead with the other judges, who include Julie Carnes and Jill Pryor to sit on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, and four District Court nominees. The six are likely to win approval on the Senate floor.

Boggs is expected to be voted on in committee later. Many Democrats are expected to oppose him, but even if he gets a majority, it is unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) will bring him up for a floor vote.

President Obama made a sort of package deal with Georgia's Republican senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, taking Boggs as one of the package in return for getting judges he wanted. But in addition to the opposition to Boggs from numerous civil rights groups, he's opposed by Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon in his own right. And Boggs did himself no favors with his disingenuous testimony and follow-up answers on the issue of abortion.

So far, the only Democratic committee members to announce their position on Boggs are Al Franken and Dick Durbin. Durbin's opposition is critical, as a member of leadership. Between him and Reid opposing Boggs, it's hard to see this nomination coming to the floor without an ugly fight. That fight could be avoided in a couple of ways. First, either Boggs himself or President Obama could withdraw the nomination. That would certainly be the cleanest solution. Or Democrats on the committee could vote against, should Leahy schedule that vote.

We're covering our bases. If you live in a state with a senator on the Judiciary Committee, please sign and send the petition: Reject Michael Boggs’s nomination to the U.S. District Court in Georgia.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (48+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 12:00:29 PM PDT

  •  not a bipartisan choice (6+ / 0-)
    [O]ne of the nominees, Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs, a conservative Democrat, hit a roadblock when liberals objected to his record in the state Legislature. Boggs voted to reinstate a version of the Confederate flag as the state flag, opposed same-sex marriage and took positions on abortion that critics say would have limited women's rights.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 12:07:42 PM PDT

  •  So a GOP senator prevented conservative Dems (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Mr Robert, Aunt Pat

    From approving the judicial nomination of a proven bigot?

    Why did Obama nominate him again?

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 12:11:11 PM PDT

    •  because unless he is pressed, (4+ / 0-)

      or even when he is pressed on the left, he has the negotiating spine of an earthworm after a thunderstorm.

      He'd rather cooperate and compromise, than stand up for an idea. The few times he does, especially in the recent past, it seems that he is surprised about how well that works.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 12:17:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  'Blue slip' tradition.. (9+ / 0-)

      That pesky advise and consent thing.. this is the guy the home state senators put forward as a choice for nomination.

      You're seriously gonna bash Obama for that?  I'm sure he knew Boggs wouldn't get past Leahy, Reid & Durbin, much less a cloture vote in the full Senate.

      •  This (8+ / 0-)
        President Obama made a sort of package deal with Georgia's Republican senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, taking Boggs as one of the package in return for getting judges he wanted.
        and this:
        That pesky advise and consent thing.. this is the guy the home state senators put forward as a choice for nomination.
        ...explain why Boggs was nominated by Obama.  And this explains why it wasn't a bad package deal for Obama, despite coming from Republicans:
        I'm sure he knew Boggs wouldn't get past Leahy, Reid & Durbin, much less a cloture vote in the full Senate.

        True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by penelope pnortney on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:05:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  give em (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CwV, penelope pnortney

          who they want and let their record and democracy work

          hey Michelle guess what
           they said they wanted boggs
          and I said okay
           hehehehehehe

          In Shambala I can see the forests & the trees

          by Joseph Westfall on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 02:50:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  OH, OK, that Makes Obama's Nomination (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Inland Jim, Albanius

          of this guy acceptable.

          gimme a break, please.

          "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

          by Superpole on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 02:56:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would say rather (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            USA629

            that Boggs' inclusion made the nomination and approval of the other candidates Obama wanted possible.  That's how I would characterize it anyway.

            Politics is never about getting what you want outright, it's about making calculated compromises, and it would appear that Obama calculated this one to a nicety.  

            Of course, he could have held his breath and left all those vacant judge positions unfilled that the Republicans have been blocking forever just because they could.  But I prefer this - Democrats doing  what's necessary to get as many sane, legally literate federal judges appointed as possible.  Because it's these courts that will weigh in on many of the radical new state laws that have been proliferating like tribbles.

            True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by penelope pnortney on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 03:55:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Except the deal that Obama got sucked (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superpole

              If he had gotten both of the 11th Circuit nominees, then including Boggs is reasonable.  Instead he had to elevate a moderate Republican, Julie Carnes to the 11th Circuit as part of the deal.  Had Carnes been replaced with a liberal African-American, I would be willing to accept Boggs as a compromise.  (And under this alternate deal, I think Boggs would have been easily confirmed.)

              But I agree with you generally on the spirit of compromise. We'll probably have to give up a truckload for a Supreme Court nominee.

            •  I Get It... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RamblinDave

              but appointing a judge who appears to be a bigot, sexist is a BIG compromise.

              "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

              by Superpole on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 06:12:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  My additional comment on the petition vs Boggs (0+ / 0-)

        ALSO:  the "blue slip" process, to move a nomination forward only with the approval of Senators from the nominee's state, should be abandoned. When the Republicans controlled the Judiciary Committee, Chairman Hatch ignored it. The fact that President Obama felt it was necessary to appease the racism of the two Republican Senators form Georgia is proof that this process is pernicious.

        Republicans and the Federalist Society have been packing the Federal judiciary with right wing ideologues since the Reagan administration.  To restore fairness and balance, Democrats must nominate and confirm ONLY strong progressives to the bench for the foreseeable future.

        There's no such thing as a free market!

        by Albanius on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:05:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I would have been willing to accept Boggs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    in exchange for both Court of Appeals choices being progressive Ds.  , But one of them, Julie Carnes was a Republican, albeit relatively moderate, so this deal reached with the Georgia senators is not acceptable.

  •  Re Judge Carnes (0+ / 0-)

    It's not ideal that the moderate Carnes be elevated to the 11th Circuit Court, but there are a few things to remember: (1) She's relatively old (64), so she will not likely remain an active judge for a long time (given her overall tenure on the federal judiciary, she can retire as early as next year on a full salary while working as a "senior" judge... a temptation that will likely be strong and which will open up the seat for a Democratic nominee on a next round). (2) The deal allows the much younger Democrat Jill Pryor (51) to be seated and presumably have a long life on the court. (3) Presidents occasionally have to make these kinds of deals over circuit judges, where two senators from the opposing party have effective veto over nominations to circuit court seats  assigned to their states (witness GW Bush nominating Democrat Helene White to the Sixth circuit in exchange for allowing Republican Raymond Kethledge to go forward to the same court, a deal brokered after two Democratic senators -- Levin and Stabenow -- refused to allow Bush to fill the vacancies for several years). (4) Democrats among active judges outnumber Republicans 6 to 3 on the 11th circuit. This will further lock in the Democratic advantage. There is still one vacancy for Obama to fill on the court, and another active judge on the court must be close to retiring as he turns 85 this year, having been appointed by Gerald Ford.

    I understand people's frustration with compromise, but, really, this sort of thing is not unprecedented. It's how the game is sometimes played when you have a hand that isn't as strong as you'd like, given operating conditions (i.e., two senators from the opposing party). Blame the blue slip tradition, the filibuster, what have you, but the President cannot dictate how the Senate runs its affairs.  If nothing else, having Carnes in the seat is far preferable from having it filled by a bona fide Federalist Society Frankenstein.

    It's always darkest before it gets less dark.

    by Karma Electra on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:12:10 PM PDT

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