Why In The World Did Obama Nominate A Homophobe To The Federal Judiciary?

michael-boggs-650President Obama has had a hard time getting his judicial appointees through Congress, so you might cut him some slack for nominating moderates who might attract bipartisan support. There’s no possible explanation, however, for why Obama nominated Michael Boggs to be on the federal district court in Georgia, unless he was out to alienate his base.

Boggs, who currently serves on the Georgia Court of Appeals, has an inglorious track record opposing anything LGBT. As a state legislator, Boggs not only voted for a ban on marriage equality; he introduced the measure and gave a reprehensible speech justifying the bill as an opportunity “to stand up for things that are commonsensical; things that are premised on good conservative Christian values, and, in this instance in particular, to support the sanctity of marriage.”

Just how conservative is Boggs? A flyer that Boggs distributed in 2000, when he was running for Georgia state representative sounds as if it was written by Focus on the Family.

“My parents taught me quality conservative Christian values,” the flyer reads. “You can count on me to remember their lessons as your State Representative.”

Just in case you wonder what those values might be, Boggs spelled them out: “I oppose same sex marriages, I oppose homosexual Boy Scout leaders, and I support voluntary prayer in schools.”

Asked by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week if his opinion on marriage equality had changed, Boggs gave a non-answer.

“My position on that, Senator, may or may not have changed since that time — as many people’s have over the last decade,” Boggs said. In other words, that’s for him to know and you to find out.

Senate Democrats are very unhappy with Boggs’ nomination and haven’t been shy in saying so. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he won’t support Boggs, which is the kiss of death for his nomination.

It’s not just the gay issues that are sinking Boggs. He also voted to retain the Confederate Flag, displaying an appalling lack of sensitivity to the African-American community.

Boggs probably won’t make it onto the bench. But that’s not the issue. The issue is, why did Obama nominate someone whose positions are so antithetical to the Administration’s? There’s plenty of room for disagreement about issues, but not about principles. In this case, the urge to get anyone through Congress seemed to trump everything else, and that’s a bad sign.

Photo via ProjectQAtlanta