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Harry Reid slams Obama judicial pick Boggs

"Somebody should have looked a little deeper into his background," Reid said of Michael Boggs, President Obama's pick to serve on the Georgia federal bench.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   May 15, 2014 at 4:51 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- Majority Leader Harry Reid slammed President Obama's pick to serve as a federal judge in Georgia, his opposition could throw a wrench in a carefully negotiated deal to fill vacancies on the state bench.

Reid said he would be unable to vote for the confirmation of Michael Boggs to serve on the federal court in the northern district of Georgia because of comments the nominee made and votes he took as a state senator on gay, civil and abortion rights.

"I'm going to oppose him," Reid told reporters Thursday. "Here's a man who has been outspoken in denying equality for people to be married. He has been outspoken in trying to recreate the flag of the rebels, the Confederates."

"He's a person who's not -- in my opinion -- in the mainstream, and I don't think he deserves to be a federal judge," Reid said.

Boggs, a conservative Democrat who held a seat in the state Senate from 2000 to 2004, has supported keeping the Confederate symbol on the Georgia state flag, the creation of a "Choose Life" license plate that helped fund an anti-abortion group and a measure requiring parents to go with their minor daughters to abortion clinics, while opposing same-sex marriage.

His nomination came as part of a deal between the White House and Georgia Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, both Republicans, to fill seven empty seats on the state bench.

While Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has promised to hold a committee vote on the nomination, Reid has be noncommittal about bringing Boggs' nomination up for a vote on the floor.

"I've told you how I feel about him," he said. "Somebody should have looked a little deeper into his record."

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