A civil war within in the Democratic Party over two judicial nominees exploded into public view this week, with Georgia Democratic Rep. David Scott calling President Barack Obama “dishonest” and claiming his state has been “disrespected in this.”
Molly Hooper of The Hill interviewed Scott Friday over the White House appointment of Michael Boggs and Mark Cohen to a Georgia district court. Despite liberal misgivings over their prior history on race relations and gay rights, Obama struck a deal with Georgia’s two Republican senators to put them on the bench in exchange for four other judges more to the White House’s liking.
That kind of political horse-trading clearly doesn’t sit well with Scott, who has quietly fought against the president’s nominees for months but is now taking his case to a national audience. “I think they’ve been very dishonest in how they’ve been handling this,” he said. “I’m a member of Congress; I represent Georgia. And we have been disrespected in this.”
“President Obama will be gone in 29 months. There’ll be a new president elected,” he continued. “But these individuals that he’s putting on the court will be there for life.”
“Why in the world would the President of the United States — he should’ve stood there to Senators Chambliss and Isakon and said, ‘No! There’s no way I can do this,’” Scott declared angrily. “‘I do not want to go down in history as an African-American president who put a person on a bench for life who voted for the Confederate battle flag that stands for slavery, that stands for racism.’”
“We tried to talk to the president about it, we called over there,” the Democratic congressman claimed, “not only myself, but our entire Democratic delegation from Georgia… I raised hell with them at that meeting. I said ‘How dare you!’ And then the such disrespect to show to our people in Georgia, not to have their Georgia representatives to speak!”
The White House refuses to budge, claiming their hands are tied. Senate decorum allows a single senator from the affected state to veto judicial nominations as they please.
“Given this constraint, our choice is clear: do we work with Republican senators to find a compromise or should we leave the seats vacant?” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told The Hill. “We believe it would be grossly irresponsible for the president to leave these seats vacant.”
[h/t The Hill]
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