What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 5, 2014

Toomey, Casey And Porter (A Petition Update)

Hey, remember this?

That was a blog post where I ask my Senator, Senator Bob Casey, what he's thinking making a deal with my other Senator, Senator Pat Toomey, to get David J. Porter a judgeship.  The thing is, while I am sure David Porter's a fine attorney, his politics lean heavily right ward.  That in itself should not disqualify him for a judgeship, the fact that a Democratic senator is looking to get him onto the bench is somewhat troubling.

Huffingtonpost wrote about it a few days ago (and, uh, a few days after I wrote about it - just sayin').

Well a few petitions have been set up (here, here and here) and guess what?

From Huffingtonpost:
Progressives in Pennsylvania have been working for weeks to derail an apparent deal between their U.S. senators to submit a conservative Republican judicial nominee to the White House -- and it looks like they're gaining momentum.

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition urging Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) not to recommend corporate lawyer David J. Porter to President Barack Obama for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. A coalition of state lawyers, advocates and community members collected the signatures and plans to deliver them to Casey on Monday, according to the Pennsylvania Coalition for Constitutional Values.
So what, again, is the problem:
"The coalition isn't just opposing Porter because he's a right-winger," said Michael Morrill of Keystone Progress, a statewide progressive advocacy group. "He is a radical right-wing activist and leader in anti-choice, anti-marriage equality, anti-environmental movements in Pennsylvania who is so far out of the mainstream that he can't adequately represent everyday Pennsylvanians."
And Rick Bloomingdale, the president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO had some issues as well:
Bloomingdale said he plans to personally talk to Casey about Porter next Monday when the senator is in Pittsburgh for an annual AFL-CIO convention. He said he understands that, in a state with a senator in each party, there are deals that have to be made on judicial nominees. But it's "troubling" to him that Toomey is pushing a nominee like Porter after holding up some of Casey's labor-friendly nominees in the Senate.

"So if he's going to play the ideological game, we certainly ask Sen. Casey to say [Porter] is too extreme for Pennsylvania," said Bloomingdale. "He's not going to be impartial on the bench."
Toomey blocked some of Casey's nominees and STILL Casey makes this sort of deal?

That is troubling.

Senator Casey needs has to ask himself this question:  If the GOP controlled the Senate and White House would Senator Toomey make a similar deal for a union friendly judicial nominee in exchange for three Porters?

I would think not.  I would think that if that were the case, the GOP would demand "bipartisanship" and then quietly redefine "bipartisanship" into "do what I tell you and we'll call that bipartisan."

Senator, if this is a deal as described above we need to know the details.  Your constituents and more importantly the people who voted for you have a right to know what you're getting in exchange for David J. Porter.

UPDATE: Thinkprogress is reporting this now.

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