World & Nation

Obama nomination of Michael Boggs to federal court appears dead

Patrick Leahy

Sens. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), left, and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

President Obama’s nomination of Michael Boggs to a federal judgeship in Georgia appears to have been doomed by his own party.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a statement Monday that the nomination of Boggs, a conservative Democrat who as a state legislator took tough stances against abortion and same-sex marriage, should be withdrawn. Boggs also came under fire for wanting to restore a version of the Confederate banner as the state flag.

“After talking with Judiciary Committee members, I advised the Georgia senators that Judge Boggs does not have the votes in committee to be reported. His nomination should be withdrawn,” Leahy said.

Republicans continued to support Boggs, but Democrats hold a majority in the committee.


Boggs was part of a package deal between the White House and Georgia’s two Republican senators, who had blocked Obama’s nominees from that state for years. Five other judges have been confirmed or appear to be on their way to confirmation.

The White House on Monday said it would not withdraw the Boggs nomination, but it was clear it was not going to fight for him either. If Boggs does not himself decide to withdraw, his nomination will expire by the end of the year.

The Senate “lame duck” session after the midterm election in November should provide some judicial fireworks. Leahy said last week that Republicans were blocking more than 20 judicial nominees.



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