Michael Boggs' disingenuous answers to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee considering his nomination to the federal bench aren't cutting the mustard with Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).
Franken and his colleague Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) were particularly concerned about Boggs' comments in his confirmation hearing that he made a completely uninformed vote for a controversial anti-abortion bill in the Georgia legislature, a measure that would endanger the lives of healthcare providers. Those concerns weren't allayed by Boggs' written responses to follow-up questions by the senators, and have led Franken to announce his opposition to Boggs.
"After careful consideration of Judge Michael Boggs, I have decided to vote against his nomination to be a federal judge," Franken told The Huffington Post. "His record on civil rights, women's health, and LGBT equality is regrettable, and I was not satisfied with the answers he gave during his confirmation hearing."Blumenthal is a likely "no" vote as well, given his skepticism over Boggs' testimony. Among the other committee Democrats, Dianne Feinstein created a controversy when she said Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) suggested to her that he was okay with nomination. He's not. She hasn't really made her position clear since then. Chuck Schumer has "significant concerns" but hasn't made a formal statement. The last time Sheldon Whitehouse talked about it, he was "still listening," and willing to give consideration to the wishes of Georgia's senators. Amy Klobuchar hasn't indicated her position, nor have Chris Coons or Mazie Hirono. All had tough questions for Boggs in his hearing. As committee chair, Patrick Leahy has been reticent to announce his position yet, but he's made it clear that he had nothing to do with the deal President Obama struck with Georgia's senators to nominate Boggs.
Franken joins Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) among members of the committee publicly saying they'll vote against Boggs. Plenty of Democrats on the panel have raised concerns with his nomination, but haven't yet said how they'll vote.
A final committee vote has yet to be scheduled, but the opposition of Harry Reid and Dick Durbin could sink the nomination before it comes for a vote because even if he makes it through committee, he might not get a floor vote. Rather than put the Senate Democrats and the White House at odds over votes, it would be better for Boggs just to bow out now.