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U.S. President Barack Obama, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and U.S. Senator Mark Warner (L)(D-VA) gather on stage at the end of a campaign rally at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach July 13, 2012.      REUTERS/Jason Reed  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS EDUCATION) - RTR34WQ3
This is no way to repay the favor, guys.
Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have made two recommendations for vacancies on the federal bench, saying that "both attorneys have built 'exemplary records' and earned top marks for the skills and temperament needed to be a judge." Except one of those attorneys has a less than exemplary record from a progressive political standpoint. Or even a basic judgement standpoint.

Think Progress has some highlights of the legislative career of Ward Armstrong, a former Democratic Virginia lawmaker. He might be a Democrat, but it's hard to tell by his positions.

His campaign website touted his "'A’ Rating from the NRA." Meanwhile, he had a 0% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Armstrong voted for unconstitutional legislation purporting to nullify Obamacare. And he ran a campaign ad attacking his opponent for "comparing me to Barack Obama." The same ad touted his opposition to "the Cap and Trade Bill." […]

Beyond his legislative record, Armstrong made a sexual joke about a fellow lawmaker in 1998 while speaking on the house floor. During a playful discussion of a basketball game between lawmakers, Armstrong quipped that Del. Jeannemarie Devolites, then a freshman Republican lawmaker, was "coming over to my place later" to "go over the playbook." At a post-game party, Armstrong reportedly added that Devoiltes was "'no Monica Lewinsky,' but that she had potential." He later apologized for these comments, saying that "to the extent that some members may have been offended by my remarks, I wish to extend an apology. … I was merely trying to bring a little levity to the process."

Nice non-apology apology there. I'm sure Ms. Devoiltes was thrilled to hear it. This is a lifetime position—do Sens. Warner and Kaine really think Armstrong's record shows the temperament necessary for the job? Combined with his legislative record—he supported legislation making it more expensive for abortion clinics to operate, voted to allow concealed guns in bars, voted to bar undocumented immigrants from enrolling in state schools, wanted to nullify Obamacare, and voted to ban same-sex marriage and to deny mortgages to same-sex couples—this is not a record that any self-respecting Democrat should be touting. Or should be wanted to have ensconced on the federal bench for who knows how many years to come.

What's hard to understand here is precisely why Warner and Kaine put Armstrong forward. Other bad nominations, like Michael Boggs's, can at least be explained by deal making. The White House accepted Boggs to get a handful of other nominees approved by Georgia's senators (a deal that should have been made unnecessary by last year's filibuster reform, by the way). But there's no one involved this time for Warner and Kaine to be making deals with, no reason at all for such an unacceptable nominee to be put forward.

Warner and Kaine need to rethink this one, and President Obama should tell them so. The Boggs nomination has already turned into an embarrassing problem for the White House. They don't need a second one, at the hands of Democrats no less.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 04:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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