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Embattled Nominee Michael Boggs Held Up As Other Judicial Candidates Moving Forward

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WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee is moving forward with a batch of federal judicial candidates for Georgia this week, but one name will be noticeably absent: beleaguered nominee Michael Boggs.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the committee, announced Wednesday that he is adding six of the seven pending nominees for federal court seats in Georgia to this week's agenda.

Georgia's two Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, "asked that I move forward with the Georgia nominees who were ready for a Committee vote," Leahy said in a statement. "I thank both of them for their willingness to move forward with these important nominations."

Boggs' nomination will remain pending before the committee.

"More time is needed to follow up on his recent testimony before his nomination will be scheduled for a vote," Leahy said.

Boggs, who is up for a lifetime post on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, has been under attack for months from progressive groups and Democratic lawmakers over his socially conservative track record as a former Georgia state legislator. Among other issues, he voted to ban same-sex marriage, to keep the Confederate insignia on the Georgia flag and to tighten restrictions on access to abortions.

President Barack Obama agreed to nominate Boggs as part of an all-or-nothing package of seven nominees he negotiated with Georgia's two senators. Obama made some notable concessions -- four of the nominees are GOP picks and only two are black, in a state with a large black population -- but the upside for the White House was that long-empty seats in Georgia would be filled.

It's unclear whether Boggs has the votes ultimately to be confirmed, but Wednesday's action signals he's facing serious obstacles. Two Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have already said they are voting no.

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