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Obama nomination for federal judgeship moving slowly in Senate

Obama's nomination of Michael Boggs to federal bench won't move quickly through Senate Judiciary Committee

Michael Boggs, the conservative Georgia Democrat whose nomination by President Obama for a federal district court judgeship has raised the ire of liberals, will not get a quick vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that the panel will hold off on Boggs while it moves forward with a package of six other nominees to the District Court in Georgia and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

Boggs was originally nominated by Obama as a part of that package, in a deal with the state’s Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. Under Leahy’s rules, any senator can block a judicial nominee from their own state, and Chambliss and Isakson had stymied Obama’s nominees in Georgia.

But as a member of the Georgia Legislature, Boggs had voted to reinstate a version of the Confederate flag as the state flag, opposed same-sex marriage and advocated restrictions on abortion. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, women's groups and others have bitterly opposed his confirmation.

Being dropped from the vote on the rest of the package this week will make it harder for Boggs to win confirmation against concerted Democratic opposition.

But Leahy indicated that Boggs will at least get a vote in committee, where he will likely need several Democratic votes. That, however, does not guarantee him a vote on the Senate floor, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is already struggling to find time to vote on nominees in more favor with Democrats.

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