Georgia court nominee gains Republican support

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WASHINGTON --- A Georgia judge nominated by President Obama to sit on the federal appeals court in Atlanta won support from key Republican senators Wednesday despite some criticism over her decision to shorten a sentence in a child sex abuse case last year.

Martin  Associated Press
Associated Press

U.S. District Court Judge Beverly Martin would serve on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears federal appeals from Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Georgia's two Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, said at a Judiciary Committee hearing that they support her nomination and that she comes highly recommended from the state's legal community.

Two other Republicans on the panel questioned Judge Martin's decision to cut 10 years off what would have been a 30-year mandatory sentence for a Texas man convicted of crossing state lines with plans to have sex with a 10-year-old girl.

But they said they liked her overall record and were inclined to support her nomination.

In September, Judge Martin ruled that the 30-year sentence against Kelly Farley was unconstitutional because it was disproportionately severe compared with sentences for other crimes. In February, nine House Republicans filed a brief in an appeal challenging the decision, saying her decision showed a lack of respect for Congress' authority to establish mandatory sentences.

Judge Martin, a Macon native and former federal prosecutor, told lawmakers Wednesday she decided to cut the sentence after applying a constitutionality test prescribed by the Supreme Court and comparing the prison term with sentences for other crimes.

Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Orrin Hatch of Utah said they were concerned by Judge Martin's willingness to disregard congressional intent. But Mr. Sessions, the top Republican on the panel, agreed that 20 years was a heavy sentence and said he is "very positively disposed" toward her nomination. Mr. Hatch said he plans to support her.

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jackfruitpaper833 07/30/09 - 06:58 am
OMG Obama nominated a

OMG Obama nominated a Republican for this position, OMG say it ain't so. LOL regardless of this good thing for Judge Martin, no local Obama ain't done nothing hater will give him a hint of respect for doing so. *SHRUGS* LOL I said that all kuntry.

joebowles 07/30/09 - 01:58 pm
Fruit, Where does it state

Where does it state she's a republican????????? Are you assuming so because of her race????????

OBX 07/30/09 - 02:20 pm
Hey Joe, Joel...I have

Hey Joe, Joel...I have quickly learned in just two days of posting how "out of it" some people are.

justus4 07/30/09 - 03:54 pm
This appointmentg is a test

This appointmentg is a test for republicans and must have been suggested from womens groups. She is a surprise pick and must be well-connected to someone.

ListenAndLearn 07/30/09 - 04:41 pm
Or maybe just a good judge?

Or maybe just a good judge? Sounds like she has her chit together. Using a SCOTUS litmus test to make her descision= smart woman. She doesn't have to be CONNECTED to anyone (cept maybe her husband), to get selected. She comes with a lot of support from the Georgia legal community. I don't care if she's REP or DEM. Why is she a surprise pick? Cause she's a WOMAN? justus, get over yourself. Mad cause you weren't on the "short list"? Or even the "long list"? From the limited FACTS I read, the AC called it a "child sex abuse" case but comes up short with "crossing state lines with plans". Planning is one thing, execution is another. I don't know how the "execution" was stopped (cold feet, intervention) but glad it was. Still, 30 years? Rapists get 5, manslaughter is good for 3.

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