Senate Democratic leadership is signaling potential opposition
to one of President Obama's choices for a federal judgeship, Michael Boggs. But their final opposition seems to hinge on one thing: what Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis has to say about the nominee. Right now, Lewis's position seems unclear.
Immediately after the announcement that Obama had cut a deal with Georgia's Republican senators to name a slate of judges, Lewis and other House Democrats from Georgia demanded a meeting to express their dismay, and in January, Lewis stood with other civil rights leaders in asking Obama to rescind Boggs' nomination. But now, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is suggesting that Lewis might have changed his mind, saying that in discussions with her, Lewis seemed to think that the slate of nominations including Boggs "was a good ticket."
That's got the Congressional Black Caucus and Georgia's Democrats in an uproar.
"John Lewis has betrayed Georgia if this is his new position," [Rep. David] Scott told The Huffington Post in a statement. "He is speaking for the White House and not women, African-Americans or gays with this new position, and he has turned his back on his own supporters." […]
In the meantime, key senators have said their final decision on Boggs will be shaped by private conversations they have with Lewis.
Lewis has not responded yet to requests for comment or clarification, but last week the Congressional Black Caucus sent a letter
, "with Lewis' name featured in the masthead" to Reid thanking him for his public opposition to Boggs.
This nomination is proving to be divisive and destructive for Democrats. For the good of the party, for the good of the federal judiciary, and for the good of his legacy, Obama should withdraw it. In the meantime, Senate Democrats should continue to hear our opposition.
Please sign and send the petition: Reject Michael Boggs’s nomination to the U.S. District Court in Georgia.
11:55 AM PT: Rep. Lewis clarifies his opposition to Boggs in a moving statement, which concludes
Based on the evidence revealed during this hearing, I do not support the confirmation of Michael Boggs to the federal bench. His record is in direct opposition to everything I have stood for during my career, and his misrepresentation of that record to the committee is even more troubling. The testimony suggests Boggs may allow his personal political leanings to influence his impartiality on the bench. I do not have a vote in the Senate, but if I did I would vote against the confirmation of Michael Boggs.