The nomination of far-right conservative Michael Boggs to the federal bench

(An alternate reality parable)

Dateline: Yam 4102, The Times MirrorWorld Gazette

Majority Republican Senators have threatened to oppose one of President John McCain’s nominees for the federal judiciary.

Throughout his terms in office and despite his party holding a majority of the Senate, McCain has faced numerous Democratic party filibusters of his nominees at all levels. This continued to the point where Republicans drastically restricted the use of minority Senate Democrat filibusters for some nominees, but the practice of ‘red slips’ continued to hold sway.

The use of ‘red slips’ is nowhere mandated in law or Senate rules, but was adopted on an informal basis some years back by Senate Republicans as a way to give a Senator from any given state a personal veto over judicial nominees. After having their filibuster abilities curtailed, Democratic Senators seized on the red slips practice and have used it aggressively ever since, blocking nearly all of President McCain’s judicial nominees, at all levels.

Even Chief Justice Elizabeth Warren — nominated to the Supreme Court by McCain’s predecessor, President Gore — has denounced Senate Democrats’ behavior as recklessly irresponsible and endangering the ability of the entire judiciary to operate as a co-equal branch of government.

In response to repeated red slips from Illinois Senators Barack Obama and Dick Durbin, McCain has nominated an outspoken far left liberal state judge for for a lifetime appointment as a federal judge. The deal is said to be so that four other district judges and two federal circuit court picks will be permitted confirmation votes by the minority Senate Democrats.

McCain’s ‘compromise’ nominee is Illinois Court of Appeals Justice Michelle Biggs:

  • She is an outspoken advocate for abortion  and contraceptive rights, and voted several times against fetal ‘person-hood’ bills and amendments.
  • She supported a measure which would have, for the sake of personal safety, outlawed the public posting of the names of doctors who perform legal abortions.
  • Additionally, she wanted to outlaw deceptive advertising by anti-abortion groups pretending to provide pregnancy services and ban any form of state funding for these ‘crisis pregnancy centers.’
  • Although a registered Republican, she ran for and served in the Illinois state legislature with fliers proclaiming she would oppose her party’s conservative positions and fight to represent liberal Unitarian Church ideals, as well as the rights of non-Christian Americans.
  • She is on record as saying the Boy Scouts should be compelled to allow both gay scouts and leaders.
  • She is 100% behind marriage equality rights for gay and lesbian couples, and favors a national law to make gay marriage the law of the land throughout the country, and voted twice in favor of an Illinois state constitutional amendment to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
  • Biggs has said she believes no religion’s symbols or statements belong on public or government property.
  • She supports a federal ban on so-called ‘voluntary prayer’ in public schools, labeling them inherently coercive in intent and practice.
  • And finally, she favors a ban on the Confederate flag in any governmental use or capacity as a symbol, referring to it as a symbol of division and rebelli–… (brrzzt! crackle! hshhhhhhhhh!)

{{{Boop!}}} (…signal lost…cannot re-acquire…) 

Looks like the wormhole portal to MirrorWorld has just collapsed.

Meanwhile, in our version of reality…

Yeah, meanwhile in our reality, we have the other scenario.

President Obama, in exchange for the Senate minority Republicans allowing votes on six of his judicial nominees in the Democratic majority Senate, has nominated a far, far right conservative for the federal bench, Michael P. Boggs.

Georgia State Judge Michael Boggs, Obama nominee for federal judge position

Georgia State Judge Michael Boggs, Obama nominee for federal judge position

Supposedly though, the original deal was for three hand-picked GOP judicial nominees, in exchange for ending the GOP’s 2013 filibuster of Obama’s nomination of Jill Pryor for the 11th Circuit.

That MirrorWorld practice of ‘red slips’ is called ‘blue slips’ here, and other than the color and the parties being reversed, it’s otherwise exactly as described.

All those things I listed above as being the positions of the fictional MirrorWorld McCain nominee Michelle Biggs? Michael Boggs believes the exact opposite.

Currently serving as a judge in the Georgia Court of Appeals, Michael Boggs also served in the Georgia State House of Representatives — as a hyper-conservative Democrat — from 2001 to 2004.

Although a registered Democrat, Boggs ran campaign fliers insisting he’d be as conservative as could be, oppose his own party on any issue deviating from toe-the-line conservatism, and would stand up totally for conservative Christian values.

During Biggs’ time in office, he:

  • Co-sponsored the ‘Choose Life’ bill to allow for an anti-abortion political message to appear on people’s license plates, but which had no provisions for a pro-choice variant.
  • Voted in favor of state money for phony ‘crisis pregnancy centers’. Those ‘Choose Life’ license plates would have provided the funding.
  • Co-sponsored another bill requiring any female under the age of 18, even if emancipated or separated from her parents, to have a parent or legal guardian accompany her in person for any abortion procedures. (The bill did not pass.)
  • Voted to create a Georgia state-funded committee to consist of state politicians and the chairman of Georgia Right to Life, for the purpose of studying ‘post-abortion syndrome’ — a phony condition with no basis in legitimate medicine.
  • Voted twice in favor of an amendment to a bill on criminal penalties for child abuse to define children as “both born and unborn.”
  • Voted in favor of Georgia’s state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, as well as any other legal arrangement similar to marriage, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships, including those performed elsewhere in the country.
  • Voted to keep the Confederate symbol on Georgia’s state flag.
  • Voted to require all Georgia county courthouses display the Ten Commandments.
  • Has said he favors the Boy Scouts banning gay scouts and leaders.
  • Says he favors ‘voluntary prayer’ to be allowed in schools, despite all the court cases showing such prayer, in practice, is almost never anything but Christian and coercive.

To his credit, Mr. Boggs has said he made a mistake when, while a Georgia state legislator, he favored a proposal to make public — on the Internet — the names of all doctors in the state who perform abortions. This particular lapse he excused by lamely claiming he wasn’t aware of violence and terroristic threats against abortion providers prior to his time in office.

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) pressed Boggs on that point, suggesting that Boggs’ explanation didn’t quite add up. “You were a state legislator at the time and you weren’t aware of any of the public safety issues that were involved around this whole issue?” Franken asked. “Doctors were murdered for this, and yet you were not aware of that at all?”

“I wasn’t,” Boggs said. “That was probably attributable to the fact that this was a floor amendment to a bill … and not something that I had an opportunity to study.”

Yeah, right. More details and documentation on the items above are here.

I have to ask this: Can anybody here, especially regular AmericaBlog readers, imagine any Republican President from Reagan through Bush and Bush-the-Lesser and to the fictional MirrorWorld President McCain, deliberately nominating a far-left liberal judge for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench?

I’m not talking about nominees who, upon being confirmed, turn out not to be as nearly conservative as their nominators would have liked. But an actual avowed liberal.

Would they ever set aside the usual GOP litmus tests requiring a total public commitment to opposing reproductive rights and gay rights? Or being in favor of an impenetrable wall between Church and State?

I don’t think so.

Published professional writer and poet, Becca had a three decade career in technical writing and consulting before selling off most of her possessions in 2006 to go live at an ashram in India for 3 years. She loves literature (especially science fiction), technology and science, progressive politics, cool electronic gadgets, and perfecting Hatch green chile recipes. Fortunately for this last, Becca and her wife currently live in New Mexico. @BeccaMorn

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