Georgia senator under fire for blocking Hispanic nominee for federal judge

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 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.

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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.

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