Controversial anti-choice judicial nominee Michael Boggs will not be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, although the committee will go forward with six other candidates from a “package” of seven nominees that used to include Boggs.
President Obama had agreed to nominate Boggs, along with those six other candidates, as part of an all-or-nothing deal to keep Georgia’s two Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, from blocking all of the judges from going through, and to release a Republican filibuster on 11th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Jill Pryor. The deal did not require Boggs to be confirmed, merely nominated.
Boggs has not yet withdrawn himself from consideration, as some members of Congress are calling for. Nor has the Obama administration withdrawn its nomination, which is still considered to be pending before the committee.
But several committee members, and all of the Democratic leadership, have publicly expressed opposition to Boggs because of his troubling voting record on civil rights issues, including numerous anti-choice initiatives and support for keeping a Confederate symbol on the state flag.
Boggs also made inconsistent statements before the committee. He seemed to claim during questioning that he had never heard of abortion doctors being murdered by anti-choice protesters, but later walked that back and said he only meant he hadn’t heard of them in context of the one amendment.
Several committee members were skeptical of Boggs’ testimony regarding that incident, and frustrated about his inability to comply with certain paperwork requirements.
“Michael Boggs not getting a vote this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee reaffirms his questionable record and inconsistent statements,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a statement. “As we have said all along, he has demonstrated a frightening pattern of disregarding civil rights and the fundamental equality of women and LGBT people that should disqualify him for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.”