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President Obama greeting Rep. David Scott at joint session of Congress.
President Obama greeting Rep. David Scott at joint session of Congress.

President Obama has been fighting members of his own party, as well as a number of progressive organizations, over his decision to defer to Republicans in Georgia and designate a couple of right-wing nominees—Michael Boggs and Mark Cohen—for elevation to the federal bench. In what could be a peace offering from Obama, he's put forward Leslie Abrams to serve as a federal district court judge in Georgia, not in place of Boggs, but for another vacancy. It appears not to be working.
"The Abrams nomination is a good move in the right direction to fill the vacant judicial seats in Georgia," Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.). said Wednesday.

"I'm happy that this young lady, Ms. Abrams, was nominated to serve," said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). "She's qualified, she's paid her dues and she'll make an excellent district court judge." […]

Neither Scott nor Johnson said Abrams' nomination would be enough to make them relax efforts to derail Boggs and Cohen.

"The focus on a couple of the earlier unacceptable nominations will not stop until they are denied lifetime appointments," said Scott.

"When it's all said and done, I only have one craw sticking at me," said Johnson. "That is the former legislator who showed his political leanings with his votes to not get rid of the Confederate emblem on Georgia's flag, to make it more difficult for women to get the health care they need, and also for his stand on the constitutional amendment stating that marriage was between a man and a woman."

The same is true for NARAL Pro-Choice America, which has been lobbying senators to reject the nominees. Georgia's Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, are thus far noncommittal as to whether they'd support Abrams. The Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to schedule hearings on any of the Georgia nominees. It's not too late for President Obama to withdraw Boggs and Cohen, and to proceed with nominees who would provide a much more fitting legacy for his presidency in their lifetime appointments.

If you have a senator on the Judiciary Committee, sign and send the petition to reject Michael Boggs’s nomination to the U.S. District Court in Georgia.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:04 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:04:17 PM PDT

  •  wow (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Musial, shoeless, chuckvw, apimomfan2



    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:12:43 PM PDT

  •  Good (8+ / 0-)

    There is no reason to tolerate these appointments

    •  I've met Boggs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VirginiaJeff, Subterranean, TXdem

      He's not a monster.  Actually, he seemed nice, and dedicated to public service.  And he was elected to the Georgia House as a Democrat, where he served from  2000-2004 - incidentally, after many others had left the party, and certainly a time when any opportunistic politician could have seen where the winds were blowing and ran as a Republican.

      He's been in private practice and as a superior court judge established a felony drug court -  drug courts, for those that are unaware, are where the judge tries takes a more hands-on approach to rehabilitate people convicted of drug-related crimes.  He's also served on the Georgia Court of Appeals, which in Georgia is the highest and final court for many types of cases.

      I'm not saying I agree with all the votes or positions he's ever taken.  But intolerable?  I can't agree with that.

      •  It's a smear campaign based on angry (0+ / 0-)

        Atlanta reps who didn't get a second black judge in the deal.

        Google it.

      •  Every successful politician has the con man's (0+ / 0-)

        art of inspiring confidence down pat. (Yes, it is the 99% of lying lawyers and politicians who give all the rest a bad name.) Being pleasant and polite and sounding reasonable when talking to the enemy have nothing to do with what Republicans actually intend when they achieve power, whether in a legislature or on a court.

        The first time I saw Mike Huckabee, he was playing this con on the Colbert Report before the 2008 primaries, making aw-shucks jokes about his weight. ("Governor, we like you, but we would prefer to see a bit less of you.") Now that the marks for his Evangelical Baptist Preacher/politician schtick are again the rubes who think that the Religious Right can actually win the Culture Wars, and not the general public, he makes no pretense to sanity for the benefit of the Liberal audience.

        The only way to tell is by the Jesus rule:

        By their fruits ye shall know them.
        Or as our Meteor Blades puts it:
        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do, and I'll tell you what you believe.
        Boggs fails.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:14:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  given that we no longer need 60 votes in the (8+ / 0-)

    Senate to confirm federal judges (except for the Supreme Court), Obama should use the opportunity to make appointments that can help to balance the large number of right-wingers appointed to the federal bench by Bush. He shouldn't waste a single appointment on mollifying Republicans. Doesn't he know by now that there's no reason to do that? They never return the favor.

    While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

    by Tamar on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:44:35 PM PDT

    •  The issue is that there still is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the blue-slip procedures. So Obama needs to get at least 1 of Georgia's senators (both Republicans) to sign off on the appointment.

      Yes it is stupid. We probably should get rid of it. But if you are working with this framework it totally makes sense why he made this deal with them.

      •  The obstacle is Senate Judiciary Committee (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        Chairman Patrick Leahy, who claims that getting rid of blue slips would not help get nominees through, after previously suggesting that he would get rid of them if Republicans continued their obstruction.

        In November, 2013:

        Blue-Slip Battle: The Senate Obstructionists’ Secret Weapon

        I assume no one will abuse the blue-slip process like some have abused the use of the filibuster to block judicial nominees on the floor of the Senate. As long as the blue-slip process is not being abused by home-state senators, then I will see no reason to change that tradition.
        In March, 2014:

        Next Nasty Nomination Fight for Obama: Michael Boggs on the Hot Seat

        Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., stressed to The New York Times recently that the deal is between the White House and the senators and that he is not “committed one way or the other.”

        Leahy also said getting rid of the blue slip process would not ease or speed judicial nominations. “[I]t would not change a thing,” Leahy said. “Nominees opposed by home-state senators will not get through.”

        In plain words, a liar. But what I want to know is why he is lying. I know what he says, but it makes no sense. In general there are
        • the reasons people talk about
        • the reasons they are thinking of
        • the real reasons

        The usual pattern of political lies is to make some high-sounding excuse, while thinking of re-election, as funded by various special interests. But Leahy is retiring. So it has to be something else.

        Senator Leahy and the Blue Slips

        Leahy is known as a "Senate traditionalist". He says that he is dedicated to protecting the rights of the minority, even though Republicans did away with blue slips the last time they controlled the Senate. So he is protecting Republicans in a way that will never protect Democrats.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:02:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  He's got the votes he needs just from Dems. (7+ / 0-)

    Fuck Senate traditions. Ask the senior most Democrat in the whole state delegation, which would be John Lewis. Not the two nutcase GOP senators.

  •  The "blue slip" rule has to go (18+ / 0-)

    Patrick Leahy needs to end it. It is entirely up to him and has no constitutional basis.

    "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013

    by TheMomCat on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:49:10 PM PDT

  •  People should be looking at Leahy and (11+ / 0-)

    the blue slip rule. As long as that's there, Obama will have to make deals with Republicans and those claiming he can just force his nominees through are using the play book of Ted Cruz circa shutdown madness.

  •  This is just another example... (7+ / 0-)

    of why we're unlikely to do well in November.

    Just when we need to REALLY MOBILIZE our base, Obama throws a sop to the GOP and demoralizes the base.

    Midterm elections are ALL about the bush beaters. The party stalwarts who are devoted to beating the bushes to get every possible vote to the polls.

    When some Democrats scratch their heads at why we did so poorly in November, some of the rest of us will not be surprised.

    I am just so effing sick of Obama cratering to the GOP. Hopefully 2016 will be better. Hillary (please god let her run!) has TWICE the cajones Obama has.

    It's just too bad she just as much a corporatist as he is.

    When, oh gods of politics will we get a truly PROGRESSIVE president???

    I ain't holdin' my breath.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:17:47 AM PDT

    •  Well, the good news is ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TXdem, chuckvw

      To the vast majority of voters, they'll probably never hear about it.  It's hard enough to get voters to connect mid-term votes with the President's agenda, let alone judicial nominees.

      Democratic failure in mid-term elections is a party-wide failure, by the way.

      And can we please stop talking about the President's (and everyone else's) "cajones."  It's ridiculously offensive on several levels.  Maybe you were in a cave for the month or two that the discussion went on here about it, but seriously?

    •  Was in total agreement with equern UNTIL (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hayate Yagami, chuckvw, Matt Z, apimomfan2
      Hopefully 2016 will be better. Hillary (please god let her run!) has TWICE the cajones Obama has.
      Hillary is TWICE as politically tone-deaf as Obama.
      It's just too bad she just as much a corporatist as he is.
      And TWICE the corporatist Obama is.

      Nevermind that Hillary is lalso FAR to Obama's right on foreign policy.

    •  We actually have data to answer your question with (0+ / 0-)

      We will get a somewhat Progressive President when the demographics move far enough for us to overcome the gerrymanders and voter suppression measures in Red states. At that time we will also get Democratic supermajorities in both Houses of Congress. Actual supermajorities. Not like the nominal 60 Democrats (with one Socialist) in the Senate in 2008 including Joe Lieberman, the Senator from The Hartford, Connecticut, and Ben Nelson, the Senator from Mutual of Omaha, Nebraska, who were out to gut health care, along with other Blue Dog Democrats. And block a real stimulus bill, and so on.

      We cannot give a date certain for this, but it looks like it could happen as soon as ten years from now, in the 2024 elections. I base this estimate in part on the history of the collapse of the Federalist Party, which was complete in 1815. It was followed by the Era of Good Feelings, 18 years of single party Democratic-Republican rule, until the Whigs took power in 1833.

      The basic fact underlying all of this is that the Right is losing members at the rate of about 1% of the total US population annually, mostly through older members not being replaced by younger ones when they die in the normal manner. A 10% shift in voting in the US over about 10 years would result in these swing states mostly going firmly Democratic: Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition these Red states would become swing states, if they evolved at the same rate: Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Mississipi(!), Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas, and possibly a few more. All indications at present are that this evolution would continue much further. That would leave behind Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee,

      At that time, Republican politicians will be irrelevant to the debate on national policy, although right wing money will continue to be a problem in various ways. So the debate in Congress will be between the Corporatist and Progressive wings of the Democratic Party, with the rightward two-thirds of the current Overton Window broken off and put on the trash heap where it belongs.

      Now to get to a truly Progressive President is a lot harder. We got FDR through a catastrophe that nobody should wish to repeat. What is much more likely is that the country will continue to evolve in a Progressive direction, and that we will at some point have a President who is Progressive as we understand the term today, but who will be far behind what the Progressives will have evolved into by then.

      Just as Socialist Norman Thomas noted that both Republicans and Democrats had borrowed items from the Socialist platform over time.

      You can see data on demographic and generational changes and shifts in public opinion on the issues at Pew Research and Pew Forum. You can see data on the partisan makeup of the states in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

      I must go do a Diary on this.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:10:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is why liberals get angry with Obama. (6+ / 0-)

    This is a clear cut example of Obama compromising with the GOP for absolutely no goddamn reason, and shafting the liberal base.

  •  If Obama sold used cars. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VirginiaJeff, Matt Z, apimomfan2

    They'd fire him for letting the customers rip him off.  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:35:59 AM PDT

  •  This is why we vote the lesser evil (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, Boogalord, Lost and Found

    because judicial appointments are important.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:39:14 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, right (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, T100R, apimomfan2, Lost and Found

    Of COURSE giving them what they will make the GOP more tractable. He did it with the budget in 2011, and they've been just peachy ever since.

  •  President Obama, DO NOT send us these conservative (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, T100R, apimomfan2, Lost and Found

    Republican judges who were approved by our Republican wingnut senators!  This is NOT why we voted for you!

    "There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress." - Mark Twain

    by rustypatina on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:41:51 AM PDT

  •  The problem with the idea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun, atana, T100R

    To me is Obama gets nothing out of it.

    The GOP just figures that they can hold out and get who they want when they get a republican president.

    Also if his intention is to make the republicans look unreasonable by making a moderate choice, it never works.

    How often have you seen it reported in the news that Obama tried to reach out to republicans but was rebuffed??

    I mean that should be THE news story of the last 6 years but instead they use the sort of fair and balanced approach where they report on on Obama nominating somebody, then they report on the GOP's lies about  making it like Obama is too partisan and that is that.

  •  This is a massive opportunity... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To remake this court.

    With Carnes moving up to the Circuit level, there are just two GOP appointments left.  9-2 Dem, with one of the Dems an 87 year old Carter appointment who likely is to retire soon. It would be really annoying if we don't use all 4 of these vacancies to appoint real Dem judges to attempt to protect this District well into the future in the event of a disaster in 2016.

    Same goes for the 11th Circuit where there currently are 4 vacancies.  That court can be 9-3 Dem, with a 85 year old Ford appointment one of the 3.  We've got to push these forward, especially in Districts and Circuits like this in the South where the courts are an important protection for Dem causes.

  •  There he goes again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Feeding the dog that has repeatedly bitten him.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:19:38 PM PDT

  •  Neocons in the State Department (0+ / 0-)

    up to shenanigans we probably don't know the half of... and lifelong appointments of conservatives to the federal bench. A Democratic Senate and president can do nothing about it, or worse, they abet it.

    Is eroding the rock bottom rationale for voting Democrat - war avoidance and judicial appointments - at all wise?

    It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

    by chuckvw on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:45:05 PM PDT

  •  why did I get a "Start Over" (0+ / 0-)

    when I clicked the link ?

  •  as has always been (0+ / 0-)

    the case obama would rather switch than fight, he leaves that up to the 99% who are basically on their own with a pres that considers the right to be more of a friend than the left who he has never respected, except at election time of course.

  •  More 11-dimensional hocus pocus from Blue Dog (0+ / 0-)


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