Michael Boggs Nomination Held Back by Senate Judiciary Committee
June 12, 2014 by Robin Maril, Senior Legislative Counsel
Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing for several candidates nominated to the federal bench from Georgia, including Michael Boggs. Boggs is nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia-- a position with lifetime tenure after confirmation. As a Georgia state legislator, Boggs developed a troubling record including promoting numerous anti-choice and anti-civil rights measures. He also voted for the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the state in 2004. Boggs was an outspoken supporter of this amendment in the legislature.
In a floor speech in support of the measure Boggs urged his fellow legislators to vote for the proposition stating that, "I tell you, and I submit to you, that whether you’re a Democrat or whether you’re a Republican, whether you’re from a rural area like myself or whether you represent an urban area, we have opportunities seldom in my short tenure in the legislature, to stand up for things that are common-sensical, things that are premised on good conservative Christian values, and in this instance in particular, to support the sanctity of marriage." Boggs expressed his commitment to this "common-sensical" opposition to equality while running for election as a Georgia state judge. During this campaign Boggs emphatically reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage stating that "You don't have to guess where I stand - I oppose same-sex marriages."
Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that it will be moving six of the seven Georgia federal judicial nominees forward for consideration. The Committee has announced that Boggs will not be moving forward with his Georgian peers. The Committee has cited the need to follow up on recent testimony. HRC is encouraged by the decision to move forward with the remaining nominees and that make progress can be made towards filling current vacancies on the Georgia federal bench. We remain extremely concerned by MichaelBoggs' anti-equality, anti-civil rights record as a state legislator, and continue to oppose his nomination.
Through this clear and unapologetic record Boggs has signaled his hostility towards issues of equality in his home state as an elected official.
If confirmed, Boggs' could entrench these destructive, anti-equality values on the federal bench for generations to come. These values are categorically inconsistent with those of the Human Rights Campaign and the judicial nominees that we support. Fair-minded judges are essential in ensuring that everyone has equal access to justice, regardless of who they are or who they love.
July 30, 2014