A revolt against President Barack Obama’s nominees to the federal bench in Georgia has spread from the civil rights icons who paved the way for Obama’s presidency to the abortion rights movement.Part of this seems to be about the problem of getting judicial vacancies filled. The Republican efforts to block Obama's judicial nominees have left a large number of vacant positions. However, the deal that he came up with resulted in two candidates that are pretty strange nominees for a Democratic president.
The abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America last week announced its opposition to nominee Michael Boggs, joining a coalition of Democratic members of Congress from Georgia and celebrated civil rights leaders like Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, C.T. Vivian and Joseph Lowery. The group had already been calling for the president to withdraw Boggs, a former Democratic Georgia state representative, and Mark Cohen, an attorney who defended the state’s voter ID law.
Both judges were approved as part of a package deal between the White House and Georgia’s two conservative Republican Senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. The deal was put together before Democrats abolished the filibuster for most nominations, but Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy maintains a Senate tradition, called the blue-slip process, which allows Republican senators to quietly block Obama’s judicial picks without drawing public attention.
Democrats in the Senate have yet to come out publicly against either of the Georgia nominees who have drawn opposition from Democrats in the House. Massachussetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren came closest, warning that Obama has appointed too many “corporate judges” to the bench. With NARAL joning the fray, other liberal groups may follow suit, and Democrats in the Senate may no longer be able to stay silent on the matter.This could get interesting.