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Civil Rights Leaders Lewis, Lowery and CT Vivian, Protest Obama’s GA Judicial Picks

Civil Rights Leaders Lewis, Lowery and CT Vivian, Protest Obama’s GA Judicial Picks

Civil rights legends Rep. John Lewis, Rev. Joseph Lowery and C.T. Vivian, are expected to ask President Obama to withdraw the nominations of several Georgia judges nominated by President Obama last week. One of the nominees was the head lawyer in support of Georgia’s voter ID lawThe judges were nominated last Thursday.  Reps from the NAACP and SCLC and Georgia Reps. Hank Johnson and David Scott will also join the civil rights leaders at a press conference on the issue today.

“Do we want the first African-American president, the first Attorney Gen. African-American, to have this on their mark?” said Rep. David Scott at the presser, as reported by CNN. “We’ve not come to attack the president. Somebody did this for him. And we’ve said that he must undo it,” said Rev. Lowery.

Mr. President we question whether this is the kind of legacy you want to leave in the state of Georgia,” said Lewis.

Rep. Lewis speaking at today's press conference at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Rep. Lewis speaking at today’s press conference at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

In a press release over the weekend, Rep. Lewis states that, “the coalition finds it troubling that several of the nominees include persons who have advocated in favor of Georgia’s voter ID laws and for including the Confederate Battle Emblem as part of the Georgia State Flag.”

Lewis and the civil rights leaders are holding a press conference today on the issue.  One of the Judges nominated, Mark Cohen, fought in favor of Georgia’s voter ID law in court on behalf of the state.  Another nominee, Mike Boggs, voted to keep the Confederate designed Georgia state flag as member of Georgia’s legislature.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that the Republican judges were nominated as part of a deal between the White House and Georgia’s two Republican U.S. Senators.

As reported by Jon Allen in Politico the judicial nominations were part of a deal.  “The White House cleared three of the judge’s Mark Cohen, Eleanor Ross and Michael Boggs with GOP Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss as part of a deal to fill two seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.”

The three GA judges nominated by the President Thursday were:

• Michael P. Boggs, of Georgia, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, vice Julie E. Carnes.
• Mark Howard Cohen, of Georgia, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, vice Clarence Cooper, retired.
• Eleanor Louise Ross, of Georgia, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, vice Charles A. Pannell, Jr., retired.

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Rep. Lewis’ press full press release: ATLANTA LEADERS CALL ON PRESIDENT OBAMA TO WITHDRAW HIS CANDIDATES FOR THE GEORGIA NORTHERN DISTRICT BENCH

ATLANTA–A broad coalition of elected officials and community leaders will announce their opposition to the slate of candidates nominated last Thursday by the White House to sit on the bench in the Northern District of Georgia at a news conference on Monday, December 23rd.

The news conference will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 449 Auburn Avenue, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30312, at 11:00 a.m on Monday December 23rd.

The group cites serious concerns that the proposed candidates do not adequately reflect the diversity of the northern district and that the selection process lacked meaningful community input.  Additionally, the coalition finds it troubling that several of the nominees include persons who have advocated in favor of Georgia’s voter ID laws and for including the Confederate Battle Emblem as part of the Georgia State Flag.

Three recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom–Rep. John Lewis, the Rev. Joseph Lowery, and the Rev. C.T. Vivian–will speak, as well as U.S. Reps. David Scott and Hank Johnson. Representatives of the Gate City Bar Association, members of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, Georgia Alliance of African American Attorneys, the Atlanta and Georgia Chapters of the NAACP, The Coalition for the People’s Agenda, and the SCLC will also be present.
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The full list of nominees sent to the Senate by President Obama last Thursday:

NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE:

Michael P. Boggs, of Georgia, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, vice Julie E. Carnes.

Julie E. Carnes, of Georgia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit, vice James Larry Edmondson, retired.

Tanya S. Chutkan, of the District of Columbia, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, vice an additional position in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 133(b)(1).

Mark Howard Cohen, of Georgia, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, vice Clarence Cooper, retired.

Gregg Jeffrey Costa, of Texas, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit, vice Fortunato P. Benavides, retired.

M. Hannah Lauck, of Virginia, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, vice James R. Spencer, retiring.

Leigh Martin May, of Georgia, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, vice Beverly B. Martin, elevated.

Eleanor Louise Ross, of Georgia, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, vice Charles A. Pannell, Jr., retired.

Leo T. Sorokin, of Massachusetts, to be United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts, vice Joseph L. Tauro, retired.

James Alan Soto, of Arizona, to be United States District Judge for the District of Arizona, vice David C. Bury, retired.