Critics' Beef With Boggs Nomination Clarified: Abortion, Religion, Flag
We've been over and over the deal between the Obama Administration and Georgia Republicans that will place three of the latter's picks on the district court, and one on the Circuit Court of Appeals, in exchange for two Obama appointments to the Circuit Court and one to the district court.
Diversity proponents were immediately outraged by the Republicans' nominations, but one nominee in particular has drawn groups' ire for his actions as a state legislator: Judge Michael Boggs.
According to the Daily Report, as a legislator, Boggs sponsored bills that:
- Established a "pro-life" license plate that would have funded pregnancy centers;
- Would have required minors to seek parental permission for an abortion, even in cases or rape and incest;
- Would have required minors getting an abortion to be accompanied by a parent carrying state-issued identification.
Needless to say, pro-choice groups have lined up against Boggs, with one even creating a hashtag #No2Boggs.
Amongst his religion-based actions, Boggs sponsored:
- A bill that would have displayed the Ten Commandments in all 159 Georgian courthouses, along with the Mayflower Compact and the Declaration of Independence;
- A measure that asked Congress to affirm that the U.S. is a Judeo-Christian nation;
- A resolution in support of "In God We Trust" as the national motto;
Yep, there's more. Boggs was also reported the first Democrat to come out in favor of a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage (even though a state law was already on the books). And as we noted before, in 2001, be cast a vote in favor of keeping the Confederate Battle Emblem on the state's flag.
No Deal Preferable to Boggs
Obviously, Boggs' wouldn't be Obama's top choice for a nominee -- his past record conflicts in every possible way with Obama's policies. However, he was part of a package deal that filled in a number of long-standing vacancies.
U.S. Rep. David Scott, who was part of the contingent that asked the Senate for permission to testify against Boggs' nomination, laid out his position to the Daily Report:
"Sometimes it's better to have these positions vacant than to put these people in with prejudiced opinions against African-Americans, against gay people, against women's reproductive rights. ... It can't stand. Georgia is better than that."
- Filibuster is Gone, But Will Blue Slips Halt 11th Circuit Nominations? (FindLaw's Eleventh Circuit Blog)
- Does the 11th Circuit Bench Have a Diversity Problem? (FindLaw's Eleventh Circuit Blog)
- Will Calls for Diversity Halt 11th Cir. Appointments Deal? (FindLaw's Eleventh Circuit Blog)
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