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Confirmed: Sen. Boxer's Impeachment Grudge

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), through a spokeswoman, now acknowledges she is blocking former Rep. James Rogan's (R-Calif.) nomination to the federal bench because of his role in impeaching former president Bill Clinton.

The Sleuth first touched on Rogan's nomination earlier this week in a piece about Rogan reaching out to the 42nd president. For that piece, Boxer declined to say whether the impeachment issue had anything to do with her opposition to Rogan's nomination to a federal judgeship. Her spokeswoman said Boxer is denying Rogan a hearing because of his record in Congress against abortion rights, cleaning up the environment, helping organized workers and stopping gun violence.

But it's all that, and much more. Boxer now admits: She's not about to help a man who led the impeachment crusade against Clinton, which she fervently fought on the Senate floor in 1998. Rogan, who is now a California state judge, was of one 13 House managers who tried Clinton's impeachment case (and lost) in the Senate.

Even if his cordial correspondence with Rogan over the years, some of it handwritten, means that Clinton himself is willing to forgive his impeacher, Boxer certainly isn't ready to reward Rogan with a plum lifetime judicial appointment.

"Congressman Rogan was one of the most enthusiastic backers of impeachment -- he thought President Clinton had committed high crimes and misdemeanors," says Boxer spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz. "The Senate certainly disagreed with that conclusion, as did Senator Boxer."

Supporters of Rogan's judicial nomination include, of all people, Lanny Davis, the former special counsel to former President Clinton, and another lawyer in the Clinton White House counsel's office. He's disappointed to learn Boxer is blocking Rogan over the impeachment trial.

Davis says the Clintons are forgiving, live-and-let-live kind of folks, so why can't Boxer be? "I think that Senator Boxer is also a gracious person who, if she got to know Jim Rogan since the impeachment days as I have, would reconsider her opposition," he says. "This is a man who would make a great judge."

One of Rogan's former aides, Jason Roe, suggests that by blocking Rogan, Boxer is violating her agreement with California's bipartisan judge-picking panel known as the Parsky Commission.

But Ravitz says that's baloney: "Senator Boxer has never supported Jim Rogan. She never told anyone she supported Jim Rogan. ... Over the years, the process has worked beautifully. This time we disagree, and I think it says something about how out of the mainstream Jim Rogan is, that for the first time that I can remember, Senator Boxer is opposing someone who came out of the Parsky Commission."

Stay tuned for further updates on whether Rogan's Clinton-loving backers can save his nomination.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  November 30, 2007; 3:33 PM ET
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