Maybe Michael P. Boggs still has a chance to become a federal judge in Georgia.
A senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Sunday that John Lewis, the Georgia Democratic congressman and civil rights leader, thought a deal between the White House and Georgia's GOP senators to fill a variety of federal judgeships provided for "a good ticket."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was asked on CNN's "State of the Union" if she would vote against Boggs or seek to block his ascension to the federal bench.
"Well, not at this stage," Feinstein said, before expanding on her answer.
"I want to meet with him. I want to talk with him. I wanted to go through the committee hearing first. I did do that. I think the questions are very apparent. I know he has some very strong support, even in the African-American community in the state of Georgia. I have spoken to John Lewis about him in the House. And I have great respect for John Lewis, who felt that this was a good ticket," Feinstein said. "I have got to do my own due diligence. And when I'm ready, I'll vote."
As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution postulated Friday, the success or failure of the Boggs nomination might well rest with Lewis. The top two Democrats in the Senate — Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois — each said separately last week that they intended to consult with Lewis. Reid has been among the most critical of Boggs, but he has deferred questions of whether he would allow for a floor vote.
Feinstein, who serves on the Judiciary panel along with Durbin, said on CNN Sunday that she has already done likewise.
Boggs, a state judge in Georgia for about a decade, has been blasted for views on social issues and votes taken during his time in the state legislature. During a contentious hearing, he disavowed votes related to abortion policy and having a Confederate insignia on the state flag, among others.
In the post-nuclear Senate, Boggs would need only a simple majority to get through the process of breaking a potential filibuster and on to an up-or-down vote on confirmation.