President Barack Obama's controversial selection of Michael Boggs to become a federal judge in Georgia lacks enough votes to survive and the nomination should be withdrawn, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Monday.
The fate of Boggs's nomination had been in doubt for months, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and other Senate Democrats expressed opposition to him because of positions he has taken on abortion, same-sex marriage and the Confederate flag.
Monday's remarks by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., signaled what could become an embarrassment for Obama. It is rare for a president's nominees to be rejected by members of his own party. Just hours earlier, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama did not want Boggs to withdraw his nomination.
Leahy's comments came six weeks before congressional elections in which strong support from women and black voters would enhance Democrats' chances of retaining Senate control and limiting expected losses in the House.
Obama last year nominated Boggs, a state judge, to become a federal district judge in Georgia. Boggs was recommended by that state's two Republican senators as part of a deal to fill seven judicial vacancies there.
But in a written statement released Monday by his office, Leahy said, "After talking with Judiciary Committee members, I advised the Georgia senators that Judge Boggs does not have the votes in committee to be reported. His nomination should be withdrawn."
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