Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Says Controversial Nominee Lacks Support

Michael P. Boggs, controversial nominee for a lifetime appointment on the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, does not have enough votes to make it to the state’s federal bench, according to the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Hon. Michael P. Boggs
via Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor

“He doesn’t have the votes,” Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the New York Times Monday,  Leahy said the stance of his colleagues on the committee made it clear that Boggs should withdraw. “I think that many people decided against him after the hearing.”

Prominent Democrats voiced overwhelming opposition to the appointment of Boggs, who supported Confederate flag insignia as a Georgia state legislator, wanted to ban same-sex marriage, and supported the publication of abortion doctors’ names on the Internet, insisting he was not aware of a history of deadly violence against abortion workers and clinics. Following the May Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Boggs nomination, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plainly said he would refuse to vote for him.

“He’s a person who, in my opinion, is out of the mainstream and I don’t think deserves to be a federal judge,” Reid said.

Boggs was strongly opposed by several women’s rights and progressive groups, and NARAL led a national campaign calling on the public to compel their Senate leadership to vote against Boggs.

“As we’ve said from the moment his nomination became public, Boggs lacks both credibility and a demonstrated commitment to equal justice under the law – qualities necessary for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench,” said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Boggs’ record of support for discriminatory and callous measures affecting the lives of women, communities of color, and LGBT Americans during his time in the state legislature makes clear that he is unfit to serve as a federal judge.”

Boggs was one of several candidates presented by Georgia Senate Republicans as nominees for roughly half a dozen open judicial seats in the state. The White House said it agreed to the all-or-nothing package of judicial picks in order to secure other Democrat-supported nominees. The White House has yet to withdraw its support for the nominee.

Media Resources: New York Times 9/22/14; Huffington Post 5/15/14; C-SPAN 5/13/14; NARAL Pro Choice America 9/22/14

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