Barack Obama has determined that being pro-life is a litmus test for liberals, despite their claims to the contrary. He has decided not to re-nominate Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs to the federal bench after he received pressure from a pro-death organization in opposition to Boggs pro-life record.
Georgia Republican US Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, who collaborated with Obama on Boggs’ nomination, said:
“It is with regret that we announce that 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. 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.”
Boggs was nominated in 2013 as part of a deal with the White House to fill seven vacancies. Boggs, though a Democrat, has taken socially conservative stances on abortion, the redefinition of marriage and the Confederate flag.
Brian Hughes at the Washington Examiner points out, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) refused to bring Boggs’ nomination to the floor of the upper chamber, even as he moved through a slate of the president’s judicial nominees in late 2014.”
The other six nominees were all confirmed.
The Georgia Voice provides some background:
Boggs, a former Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives, drew fierce opposition from Democratic senators and several progressive organizations, including LGBT organizations, after being nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia by President Obama last December. He couldn’t get enough votes to advance and his nomination appeared dead in September.
But as today’s report indicates, President Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough informed Isakson and Chambliss prior to Thanksgiving that Boggs’ nomination was dead.
During Boggs’ two terms in the General Assembly, from 2001 to 2004, Boggs voted in favor of keeping the Confederate flag emblem as part of the state flag and publicly naming doctors who provide abortions. He also introduced a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the state. Boggs also argued while serving in the Georgia legislature against “activist judges” that he believed were working to bring marriage equality to same-sex couples.
The pro-death group NARAL were the ones who led the attack on Boggs were celebrating.
“We’re pleased that the deep concerns of tens of thousands of people and over forty organizations were heard, and that there will be one less federal judge who puts his personal ideology ahead of the constitutional rights of all Americans,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue told Talking Points Memo. “2015 will be a better year because Michael Boggs will not hold the fate of millions of Americans in his hands.”
Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta), who also went after Boggs about a Confederate flag issue, gave a statement via his spokesman, “I’m glad that the President has closed the door on this nomination so we can start the New Year looking ahead, not back. There are hundreds of qualified attorneys in Georgia who could serve as a federal judge and I ask that an open and fair process be used to select the next nominees.
Clearly this would have been a victory for those who are pro-life, but the assumption is that the White House believes that getting its nominees through in the coming year will be more difficult and so they have taken the gloves off and that is the reason that Michael Boggs was not even brought to the floor of the Senate for confirmation.