WASHINGTON –- An intra-party scuffle over Georgia judicial nominees escalated Wednesday as Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) tore into President Barack Obama for showing “disrespect” to America by nominating two social conservatives, while White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler defended the president’s picks as the best option.
Scott, in an interview on NewsOne Radio with Roland Martin, said it is incumbent on civil rights groups to convince Obama to pull down Georgia district court nominees Michael Boggs and Mark Cohen, and said the president will thank them for it later. Boggs, a former state legislator, has come under intense fire from civil rights leaders, abortion rights groups and those representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people over past votes to keep the confederate insignia on the Georgia state flag, to tighten restrictions on access to abortion and to ban same-sex marriage. Cohen, meanwhile, has taken heat for successfully defending Georgia’s voter ID law in court.
The Huffington Post reached out to the White House for comment, and got a direct response from Ruemmler, who rarely talks to the press.
She walked through Obama’s thinking in tapping the two nominees, both part of an all-or-nothing package of six judicial nominees that the president agreed to months ago with Georgia’s Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. Obama made some notable concessions — four of the six nominees are GOP picks, and just one is African-American in a state with a large African-American population — but the tradeoff is that other nominees in the package will finally move forward after years of going nowhere.
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