On Tuesday, one of the federal judicial nominees expected to come up in the Senate is Georgia state Court of Appeals judge Michael Boggs. Boggs’ controversial and fringe ideologies include his vote while in the state legislature to reinstate a revision of the Confederate flag, his anti-choice vote and his opposition to same-sex marriage. Many critics argue that he intentionally left out some of these details originally and wrote an apology to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Unfortunately apologizing for omitting the information and actually believing in discriminatory and divisive principles are two entirely different offenses.
In what has been widely circulated as an agreement between the White House and Georgia Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, Boggs was nominated as a judicial candidate. There is a lot of procedural discussion about holding up vacancies and the blue-slip rule but a lifetime appointment for someone with such insidious opposition to human rights is a dangerous choice.
This has not been missed by Georgia Democrat US Representative David Scott who has voiced his opposition to the Boggs nomination. Rep. Scott has not minced his words over his disappointment and disbelief over the nominee. In February Scott said, “They need to remember what civil rights leaders in the past, such as Frederick Douglas, would do if he were here. What would Harriett Tubman or Sojourner Truth or Martin Luther King Jr. would be doing about a judge who supported the Confederate battle flag to be put on the court for life by an African-American president?” Scott is also disturbed by the lack of outrage by traditional civil rights organizations who he says would never have allowed President Bush to nominate Boggs.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) has also publicly opposed the Boggs nomination, “I think the president was given bad advice, and I suppose he’s still proceeding on that bad advice.” Johnson said he will actively work against the nomination by contacting Democratic Senators and encouraging them to vote against Boggs.
This issue gains our attention because this is a lifetime appointment and as we work to create a more fair and just world, let’s protect justice at home for our great grandchildren too. As descendants of those who were denied citizenship and full access to the American dream, the least we can do is to object to Michael Boggs as worthy of our confidence based on his history and positions. His biases are known and documented.
Why should we expect Boggs to be fair and inclusive in his interpretations of the law based on his history?