Hypocrisy: Harry Reid backs radical judicial nominee while opposing another with more mainstream views

Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid balked at President Obama’s proposed nominee to a Georgia district court this week. Former Georgia State Senator and current Judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals, Michael Boggs, staked out conservative positions on hot-button social issues during his time in the state legislature.

Reid said, “I’m going to oppose him. Here’s a man who has been outspoken in denying equality for people to be married. He has been outspoken in trying to re-create the flag of the Rebels, the Confederates. He’s a person who’s not — in my opinion — in the mainstream, and I don’t think he deserves to be a federal judge.”

According to the POLITICO report:

Boggs is part of a delicately negotiated parcel of Georgia judges negotiated between the White House and Georgia GOP Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has committed to holding a committee vote on Boggs, but Reid would only say “we’ll see” about a floor vote.

Leahy said on Wednesday that the White House has not contacted him regarding Boggs’ nomination — and Reid piled on Thursday by positing that Boggs had not been thoroughly vetted for his position.

Reid, however, has voiced support for another controversial nominee whose views — as recently as 2011 — on the targeted killing of Americans with drones by the U.S. government are wildly unpopular among most Americans.

David Barron’s confirmation may be thwarted next week by another Senate filibuster by Rand Paul, whose filibuster in March 2013 dramatically shifted public debate on the use of drones.

In a statement, Senator Paul said, “There is no valid legal precedent to justify the killing of an American citizen not engaged in combat… I shall not only oppose the nomination of David Barron, but will filibuster.”

Boggs’ positions on issues like gay marriage were espoused between 2000 and 2004, when Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, and most other Democrats opposed gay marriage. It is conceivable that Boggs has changed his position on these issues (like Obama, Clinton, and Reid have), but Reid’s hypocrisy is striking.

Of Barron’s stated position on drone strikes against Americans, Reid said, “I support Barron; I think that he’s a fine man, and I think that he didn’t do anything other than write a legal opinion.” Unfortunately for Reid and for American civil liberties, a judge’s legal opinion, should Barron be confirmed, becomes the law of the land.

Harry Reid’s support for a judicial nominee with recently-espoused radical positions on the targeted killing of Americans and opposition to a nominee who espoused mainstream opinions a decade ago is blatantly hypocritical.

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