Obama judicial nomination provokes rising opposition … from Democrats

posted at 10:41 am on May 14, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

To steal a line from Instapundit, they told me that if I voted for Mitt Romney, I’d get federal judges who opposed abortion, same-sex marriage, and who’d be waving Confederate flags. And they’d be right! A justice on a Georgia appellate court ran into a buzzsaw of Democratic criticism in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, with Democrats like Dianne Feinstein and Al Franken signaling opposition to Michael Boggs’ confirmation:

Democratic senators opposed to one of President Obama’s nominees to serve on a federal court in Georgia sharply questioned the pick Tuesday about his previous statements, votes and court decisions related to abortion rights, gay rights and civil rights.

Michael Boggs is a Georgia state judge tapped by Obama to serve on a U.S. district court in Georgia. The White House has stood by Boggs despite strong opposition from a handful of Democratic senators, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, civil rights leaders, NARAL Pro-Choice America and gay rights groups.

Boggs has served as a state appeals court judge since 2012 and previously served as a state superior court judge. As a state senator from 2000 to 2004, Boggs, a conservative Democrat, supported keeping the Confederate emblem on the Georgia state flag; supported establishing a “Choice Life” license plate that helped fund antiabortion groups; opposed same-sex marriage; and supported a law that would require parents to accompany their daughters to abortion clinics if the daughter is younger than 18.

Boggs’ nomination came from a joint effort between the White House and the two Senators from Georgia, both Republicans, who praised White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler for her “fair” approach to nominations.  Fairness isn’t really the issue, though, so much as research. Boggs voted twice to keep the Confederate flag as the state flag of Georgia while in the legislature, which may sell well in Georgia but hardly plays well in Washington DC. When pressed on that issue, Boggs claimed that he’d changed his position, and hinted he’d also done so on same-sex marriage, but that’s hardly a confidence-builder for Democrats on the committee who have to defend this vote to their own home-state voters.

CNN’s John King and his panel noted the disconnect today. Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman calls it emblematic of Barack Obama’s relationship with his progressive base:

It looks more emblematic of the mail-it-in presidency. All of these issues should have been vetted with the Democrats on Judiciary long before Boggs’ appearance yesterday. Franken accused Boggs of lying about his record in an open hearing, which indicates that the White House didn’t bother with laying groundwork for a nominee they had to know would be problematic … if they’d vetted him at all. Given the record of this administration on research and vetting, I’m guessing they stopped looking at Boggs once they saw he was a Democrat.

The White House told Goldman that they expect the Republicans to line up behind Boggs, and only need a couple of Democrats. We’ll see how anxious the GOP is to rescue Obama from his own embarrassment.


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If there is a chance to get in a decent judge, grab it.

ncinca on May 14, 2014 at 10:46 AM

they told me that if I voted for Mitt Romney, I’d get federal judges who opposed abortion, same-sex marriage, and who’d be waving Confederate flags. And they’d be right!

Great opening quip.

Toocon on May 14, 2014 at 10:47 AM

If the TOTUS nominated him, there must be something wrong. The GOP should dig deep and not be lulled into complacency simply because the ‘rats claim they don’t like him.

Ted the Average on May 14, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Boy howdy this is a tough one; condemn the guy for the Confederate flag thing and be called a racist against Bark, or support the dude because he’s Bark’s choice and thus tacitly support the Confederate flag thing.

What is a good, upstanding leftie to do?

Bishop on May 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM

To steal a line from Instapundit, they told me that if I voted for Mitt Romney, I’d get federal judges who opposed abortion, same-sex marriage, and who’d be waving Confederate flags. And they’d be right!

Would they? I’m confident Willard would have nominated nothing but Souters.

Ted the Average on May 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, with Democrats like Dianne Feinstein and Al Franken signaling opposition to Michael Boggs’

…along with dementia democrat Conyers…and we wonder why the courts are fcuked up?

KOOLAID2 on May 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM

no such thing as a “conservative” democrat anymore.

Tom Servo on May 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM

On this I can see the gop helping obama

cmsinaz on May 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Would they? I’m confident Willard would have nominated nothing but Souters.

That beats nothing but wise Latinas/Lesbians/Communists…

sandee on May 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Boy howdy this is a tough one; condemn the guy for the Confederate flag thing and be called a racist against Bark, or support the dude because he’s Bark’s choice and thus tacitly support the Confederate flag thing.

What is a good, upstanding leftie to do?

Bishop on May 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM

This:

If there is a chance to get in a decent judge, grab it.

ncinca on May 14, 2014 at 10:46 AM

J/K Bishop. An upstanding leftie has no interest in decent judges.

This is going to take a lot of nuance by Dear Leader and his minions. I Expect them to “evolve” shortly.

JusDreamin on May 14, 2014 at 11:00 AM

A responsible Democrat. I’m surprised there is such a thing. It sounds like he might actually do the right thing.

crankyoldlady on May 14, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Reid takes another look at the filibuster on judicial nominees?

LOL

ButterflyDragon on May 14, 2014 at 11:01 AM

This guy’s an opportunist, which means he’ll go to the highest bidder. I see no reason to support adding to the corruption of the court. Just because he’s played conservative in the past to get elected in GA doesn’t mean he’ll be even moderate once he’s no longer accountable.

Immolate on May 14, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Hey, I have an idea, why don’t we come riding in on our white stallions to rescue a president who ignores laws he doesn’t like, by helping him appoint a Judge whose views on the law are highly fluid…

oscarwilde on May 14, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Would they? I’m confident Willard would have nominated nothing but Souters.

Ted the Average on May 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Don’t forget Stevens or Warren.

celtic warrior on May 14, 2014 at 11:02 AM

no such thing as a “conservative” democrat anymore.

Tom Servo on May 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Yes there is, in bugtussel Alabama.

celtic warrior on May 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Would they? I’m confident Willard would have nominated nothing but Souters.

That beats nothing but wise Latinas/Lesbians/Communists…

sandee on May 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Oh, so you’re okay with a judge tramping your rights as long as he/she isn’t a Latina, lesbian, or communist?

Do you realize how ridiculous your statement is?

Souter is complete trash, one of the worst judges in U.S. history. H.W. should be ashamed of himself for nominating him.

Ted the Average on May 14, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Would they? I’m confident Willard would have nominated nothing but Souters.

Ted the Average on May 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Don’t forget Stevens or Warren.

celtic warrior on May 14, 2014 at 11:02 AM

And William Brennan.

Just once, I’d like to see a Democratic appointee become a conservative. Just once.

Ted the Average on May 14, 2014 at 11:10 AM

well, it will be interesting to see how Dirty Harry handles it when a few democrats vote for him and there is a 55-45 vote to pass him. Wonder how that nuclear option on the fillibuster will hold out then?

rightwingcollegeprof on May 14, 2014 at 11:13 AM

How does he stand on Federal judges overruling the express will of the people?

And out of control executive orders?

formwiz on May 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM

It looks more emblematic of the mail-it-in presidency. All of these issues should have been vetted with the Democrats on Judiciary long before Boggs’ appearance yesterday.

Presidenting is hard work. And if there’s one thing Dear Liar hates, it’s hard work.

rbj on May 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM

White House didn’t bother with laying groundwork for a nominee they had to know would be problematic … if they’d vetted him at all.

Hell, they didn’t even vet POTUS’s birth certificate

txdoc on May 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM

All of these issues should have been vetted with the Democrats on Judiciary long before Boggs’ appearance yesterday. Franken accused Boggs of lying about his record in an open hearing, which indicates that the White House didn’t bother with laying groundwork for a nominee they had to know would be problematic … if they’d vetted him at all. Given the record of this administration on research and vetting, I’m guessing they stopped looking at Boggs once they saw he was a Democrat.

Come on Ed – Obama is going to change the way DC works and move us away from this bitter partisanship!

gwelf on May 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Doesn’t matter.
A soiled minority of federal judges are overturning laws all across the country.
Pass a law sitpulating what ‘marriage’ means (not is, ‘is’) but DEFINITION and you can find some moral reprobate judge (likely a closeted ghey) that will say that such laws defining marriage is between OPPOSITE sexes is unconstitutional. Of course these judges read the Consitition once (when in law school, if then even) and since have believed it to be a ‘living’ document, morphing ‘with the times’.
We are so phucked.
Stupid Americans.

Missilengr on May 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM

A decent nomination, this is a first for Obama. Confirm the guy quickly. We may never get another.

duff65 on May 14, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Confederate flag? It looks more emblematic of the problem we have with the dominance of extreme leftists in academia and their wholesale practice of historical revisionism.

Jocundus on May 14, 2014 at 11:57 AM

We’ll see how anxious the GOP is to rescue Obama from his own embarrassment.

You’re kidding, right Ed?

Rescue has been the GOP position on this administration since, oh, 1/20/2009…

Bruno Strozek on May 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM

What does Romney have to do with this? Oh, I get it. You want to somehow think you didn’t sell the country down the river by endlessly bashing Romney.

I hope the guy gets confirmed. I don’t think it saves Obama from embarrassment at all. The left will be steaming.

And it proves Republicans aren’t just vengefully in opposition to everything Obama does. If Obama does the right thing they support it.

Combine the Conyers Primary thing, with the Florida Primary thing and now this nomination… and it looks like Democrats are pretty much in disarray.

Big picture funny.

However the continued problem of blaming Romney for your own inability to see through the Democrat baiting is shameful.

petunia on May 14, 2014 at 12:54 PM

The White House told Goldman that they expect the Republicans to line up behind Boggs, and only need a couple of Democrats. We’ll see how anxious the GOP is to rescue Obama from his own embarrassment.

Always count on R stupidity.

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Does this mean that Barack Obama supports the Confederacy?

Steve Z on May 14, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Taking bets on the number of GOPers who will be voting for the guy who wants to keep the Confederate flag on the Georgia state flag.

It doesn’t matter that Obama nominated him – the media narrative of “GOP voted to support Confederate-flag-supporter LOL while Dems balked” awaits.

IT’S. A. TRAP.

Good Lt on May 14, 2014 at 1:40 PM

There’s been a fair amount of bad faith in the way Democrats have been negotiating judicial nominations. In PA, Toomey and Casey greenlighted a package of five nominees, 4 Democrats and 1 Republican, to the Federal bench. Democrats balked at the one Republican, claiming he was an extremist, while ignoring the fact that they stood to gain 4 nominees in the deal.

This could very well be the case with this nominee. The two Georgia Republicans agreed to approve some Democrats to the bench in Georgia in exchange for this Republican (and possibly others).

blammm on May 14, 2014 at 1:50 PM

The White House told Goldman that they expect the Republicans to line up behind Boggs, and only need a couple of Democrats. We’ll see how anxious the GOP is to rescue Obama from his own embarrassment.

It’s time to make a deal…with the dems to vote against this nomination or with Obama to vote for.

Surely there is something the GOP wants. Hmmmm?

Vince on May 14, 2014 at 2:22 PM

This could very well be the case with this nominee. The two Georgia Republicans agreed to approve some Democrats to the bench in Georgia in exchange for this Republican (and possibly others).

blammm on May 14, 2014 at 1:50 PM

He’s a democrat.

Vince on May 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Just once, I’d like to see a Democratic appointee become a conservative. Just once.

Ted the Average on May 14, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Byron White. But he was the last one, and he was appointed over 50 years ago by JFK.

J.S.K. on May 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

The more time the Dems spend on this guy, the less time to ram through other hard left fascist judges.

Freddy on May 14, 2014 at 3:39 PM

I agree with Freddy

Lord Whorfin on May 14, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Once again the Democrats put the Republicans in a pickle. THey could support this guy but it’s better to not support him. However, you have to know the next nominee is going to be another radical progressive the Democrats can support. If you support Boggs you’re a racist, if you don’t get ready for the worst nominee on the planet.

bflat879 on May 14, 2014 at 7:05 PM

testing..:)

Dire Straits on May 15, 2014 at 10:23 AM

testing..1..2..3..:)

Dire Straits on May 15, 2014 at 10:24 AM

re the stars and bars on the Ga. flag where are all the left wing commie/socialists who support burning of the stars and stripes because it is “just a piece of cloth”. and before you knee jerk liberal donkeys start braying out that it stands for an ideal, so does the stars and stripes.

bilker on May 16, 2014 at 1:18 PM