Georgia Senator Says He Will Oppose Federal Judge Nominee

Jan 21, 2016

Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia said Thursday he won't support President Barack Obama's nominee for a federal judgeship in Georgia, essentially scuttling the choice.

Perdue said in a statement that the nomination is "unattainable" in the Senate because of concerns about nominee Dax Lopez having been a board member of a Hispanic advocacy group that lobbies against tougher immigration laws. Lopez worked with the group while he was a judge.

Lopez was appointed as a judge in the State Court of DeKalb County in 2010 by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican and the senator's cousin. Both of Georgia's U.S. senators must sign off on Obama's nomination for it to go forward in the Senate.

Perdue said he remains "uncomfortable" with Lopez's ties even after a meeting with the judge.

"I believe similar concerns would be raised by many of my colleagues, making Judge Lopez's final confirmation unattainable," he said in a statement.

Georgia's other U.S. senator, Republican Johnny Isakson, said he respects Perdue's decision, "but I am disappointed that Judge Lopez won't get a hearing."

Lopez did not return a call for comment.

It was the second time in as many years that a nomination for a federal judgeship in Georgia faced trouble in Congress. Democrats opposed the nomination of Michael Boggs two years ago because of positions he had taken on abortion, same-sex marriage and the Confederate flag.