And here’s a letter from Sen. Durbin (I wrote to express my dismay at the nomination of Michael Boggs to a federal judgeship):
Thank you for contacting me about Michael P. Boggs’ nomination to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. I appreciate hearing from you.Judge Boggs received his B.A from Georgia Southern College and his J.D. at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law. Boggs has been a judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia since January 2012. Previously, Boggs served as a Superior Court Judge in the Waycross Judicial Circuit of the First Judicial Administrative District of Georgia from 2004 to 2012. While serving as a Superior Court Judge, he established and presided over the court’s felony drug court program.On January 6, 2014, Michael Boggs’ nomination was received by the Senate and was referred to the Judiciary committee, of which I am a member. As a member of this committee, I will be considering this nomination carefully and will keep your views in mind.Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch.Sincerely,Richard J. DurbinUnited States Senator
A couple things about this email: first, did I ask for Mr. Bogg’s resume? Do I care about his credentials? In this case, no — although, I don’t find them terribly impressive (speaking as an academic snob). Second, does this address his stances on the issues which I pointed out were offensive? No, it does not. It does not address his character at all — and yes, I view his stance on some issues to be a moral issue.
For instance, his anti-choice stance is offensive to me as a woman: it means he devalues both women’s health and the ability of women to make their own choices about their own bodies. I don’t find that moral at all. Next, he opposes marriage equality, which is the defining civil rights issue of our time (well, that, and maintaining voting rights for all … sheesh, are we still fighting that battle?). Rep. John Lewis has denounced this nomination — and if we’re talking morality and Civil Rights and John Lewis is against you — I think you’re on the wrong side.
Last, but not least, his support for the Confederate flag denotes him as … unAmerican. Frankly, it’s a flag that celebrates treason, and a war fought to ensure the existence of slavery. No. Disqualified on points to serve on the federal bench if you are muddled about what defines us as Americans (hint: it isn’t a “Rebel Yell”). A little boning up on history might be important (and if you tell me that the North got to write the history after the War — well, yes: because the North won! that’s what happens when you win! — and it doesn’t mean that you can go in and change facts just because their uncomfortable now … for instance, like what the South was fighting for and who started it. Again, no).
And what I don’t see is: how are you going to vote on this offensive nomination, Senator Durbin? Are you a strong “no”? Wavering? Because that’s really what I want to know: how are you going to vote on the nomination?
One note to Sen. Durbin’s staff: if you ask for my preferred title, try using it not only in the address line, but also in the salutation — looks weird if you aren’t consistent.