Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (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 LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised On The Money — Democrats tee up Senate spending battles with GOP MORE (D-Vt.) about Georgia Court of Appeals judge Michael Boggs, Obama's controversial nominee to be named to the U.S. District Court there.
Boggs has faced criticism from Democrats for positions he took as a state legislator more than a decade ago on abortion rights, the confederate flag and gay marriage.
“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 LewisJohn LewisAlyssa Milano arrested at White House voting rights protest Kinzinger defends not supporting voting rights act: 'Democrats have to quit playing politics' What's at stake if Trump wins in 2024? Single-party authoritarian rule MORE (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.