11/13/2014 08:51 am ET Updated Nov 13, 2014

Georgia Senator Defers To Obama On Fate Of Michael Boggs

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) says he would support renomination for Georgia's beleaguered judicial nominee Michael Boggs next year. But he's not exactly vowing to fight to make that happen.

Isakson conceded Wednesday that Boggs has little chance of getting confirmed this year to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in September that Boggs doesn't have the Democratic votes to pass the committee, so he's gone nowhere. The former Georgia state legislator has faced intense opposition from progressives who are opposed to his socially conservative record on gay rights, abortion rights and civil rights.

But Boggs would likely fare better in the Senate next year, when Republicans are in the majority. The question is whether Georgia's senators plan to push President Barack Obama to renominate him to the lifetime post. It's going to take a push, too: The reason Obama nominated Boggs this year is because he was part of an all-or-nothing package of Georgia judicial nominees, some picked by Democrats and some, such as Boggs, picked by Republicans. Everyone else in that package has advanced, so Obama would have to be willing to renominate Boggs on his own -- and pick a big fight with his party.

Isakson shrugged when asked if he expects Obama to give Boggs another shot.

"I don't know whether he would or not," he said. "I would be supportive of him doing that, but I don't know whether he would."

The Georgia Republican gave no indication that he is prepared to fight to bring Boggs back. At one point, he even said he was fine with Obama moving ahead with a different nominee. It was unclear if he misspoke.

"I would be supportive of him not moving the nomination forward again," Isakson said. After a pause, he added, "I supported Mr. Boggs before and I would support him again ... But that's up to the president."

Georgia's other senator for the 114th Congress, the newly elected David Perdue (R), has said that Boggs "deserves serious consideration," but that he hasn't met him yet and wants a chance to do so.

The White House declined to comment on whether Boggs might be renominated.

This post has been updated to reflect that the White House declined to comment.

UPDATE: 12:30 p.m. -- An Isakson spokeswoman later told HuffPost that the senator misspoke and that he wants Boggs back next year.



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