Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday said he cannot vote for President Obama's nominee for the federal court in Georgia unless he gets more satisfying answers about his past positions.
Reid said he planned to talk to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) about Georgia Court of Appeals judge Michael Boggs, Obama's controversial nominee to be named to the U.S. District Court there.
“I’ve not talked to Pat Leahy personally," Reid told Buzzfeed on Wednesday. "I will do that. Unless I have a better explanation, I can’t vote for him. This is a lifetime appointment. He’s said some things and made some decisions I think are not very good.”
Reid added: “Boggs is not somebody I’m going to vote for unless I have some explanations on why he did that deal with the rebel flag and things he’s said about abortion.”
The majority leader said he would also confer with "my man in Georgia" Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a figure from the civil rights movement who opposes the nomination.
The Senate Judiciary held a hearing on Boggs's nomination Tuesday in which a number of Democrats expressed skepticism about confirming him.
During the hearing, Boggs said he deserves criticism for voting twice to keep the Confederate battle emblem as Georgia's state flag. He also said he was unaware of the security threat to Georgia doctors when he voted on a bill that would require them to release the number of abortion-related procedures they perform.
He also said his personal beliefs about gay marriage would not be relevant to how he decides cases despite pushing for a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage while in the assembly.
The White House has defended the nomination, saying Boggs's decade of experience as a trial and appellate judge since his time as a legislator prove he is qualified for the federal bench.
“Based on Judge Boggs's 10-year track record as a state trial and appellate court judge, the president believes he is qualified for the federal bench,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
—Updated 3:14 p.m.