03/10/2014 10:26 am ET Updated Mar 10, 2014

Democratic Congressman Joins NARAL Campaign To Sink Obama Nominee Michael Boggs


WASHINGTON -- Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) is teaming up with NARAL Pro-Choice America in a new push to sink one of President Barack Obama's judicial nominees, Michael Boggs.

NARAL is sending an email to its supporters later Monday that will include a letter from Scott, who says it's up to voters to pressure their senators to reject Boggs when his nomination comes up for a vote. Boggs, one of Obama's nominees for a Georgia district court, has sparked an all-out revolt among civil rights leaders, abortion rights groups and LGBT groups over votes he took as a former state legislator to keep the confederate insignia on the Georgia state flag, to tighten restrictions on access to abortion and to ban same-sex marriage.

"I'm as surprised and outraged as you are to be fighting an anti-civil rights, anti-choice, anti-marriage equality nominee put forward by Obama's White House to serve on the federal bench in my home state in Georgia," says Scott, who previously served as a state legislator with Boggs. "If we don't stop Michael Boggs, he'll be on the court for his entire lifetime."

Scott says he's personally reached out to Senate Democrats asking them to reject Boggs and urges NARAL supporters to do the same.

"We can turn this train around, but the Senate needs to know that the American people aren't willing to put the future of our courts in the hands of someone whose values should have been left behind in the 1950s," he writes.

The email includes a link to an online form that allows readers to register their opposition to Boggs directly with their senator. A NARAL spokesman said the email will reach about 500,000 supporters.

Scott has made no secret of his disapproval of the White House's selection of Boggs. The Georgia Democrat unleashed on Obama last month during a radio interview, saying the president is showing "disrespect" to the nation by tapping someone like Boggs for a lifetime appointment.

The White House has defended Boggs by saying he's the best option on the table, given that he was part of an all-or-nothing package of six judicial nominees agreed to months ago by the president and Georgia's two Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. Obama made some pretty big concessions in the deal: Four of the six nominees are GOP picks, and just one is African American -- a lack of diversity that some Georgia Democrats argue doesn't reflect the population those judges will oversee. But the upshot, according to the White House, is that the Democratic picks in the package can finally move forward after years of going nowhere.

"Do we work with Republican senators to find a compromise, or should we leave the seats vacant?" White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler asked in an interview with The Huffington Post last month. "We believe it would be grossly irresponsible for the president to leave these seats vacant."

The Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to set a hearing for any of the Georgia judicial nominees.

HuffPost asked Chambliss and Isakson last week if they're worried about progressive groups bringing down their nominee.

"I would just say their criticism is pretty well not justified," said Chambliss. "I've seen [the attacks on Boggs]. We're going to continue working to get him confirmed."

Isakson said, "We worked with the White House to come up with six appointments to the courts. They're all outstanding nominees and I support the president's picks."

He demurred when asked about liberal groups pressuring Democrats to reject Boggs.

"I'm not going to get into a contest with any group," Isakson said.



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