Democracy Has Prevailed.

September 5, 2022

Well, Well, Look Who Showed Up!! Judge Patricia McCullough! Details Inside!

I've been doing some deep dives recently into some of the religious/social/political contexts framing St Sen (and now GOP Cand for PA Gov) Doug Mastriano and this morning I happened upon this from WHYY:

Typical Mastriano Christian Nationalist BS, right?

But look a few paragraphs down when you get to this:

A growing number of Republican lawmakers across the country are calling for Christianity to be explicitly intertwined with government affairs. One went so far as saying the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state shouldn’t exist. 

In Pennsylvania, the idea that religion should be part of governing has caught on with people beyond Republican lawmakers. Mastriano, Dush and the others were joined at last month’s rally by a sitting Commonwealth Court Judge, Patricia McCullough.

You do see where I'm heading? Don't you?

I'll let WHYY continue:

She talked with the crowd about Sir William Blackstone, an 18th-century English jurist who’s still cited by U.S. Supreme Court justices like Clarence Thomas in cases. 

Blackstone was a controversial figure in his time. As a member of the British Parliament, he supported things like the Stamp Act, which drew condemnation from people like Thomas Jefferson. 

McCullough, formerly the head of Catholic Charities in the Pittsburgh diocese, summarized Blackstone’s legal theory:

“Blackstone taught that all law is based on the natural law, and the natural law is based on the divine law of God, and that any law that doesn’t comport with those laws is not a valid law,” McCullough said before leading the crowd in prayer.

Here's a snippet of what the good Judge had to say:

And here's a partial transcript:

And what did this Justice Blackstone teach about the law? 

He's still cited by the United States Supreme Court in their opinions. 

Blackstone taught that all law is based on the natural law and the natural law is based on the divine law of God and that any law that doesn't comport with those laws is not a valid law.

Very fitting if you're looking to impose the religious dogma of but one sliver of the population on everyone else.

Who defines what "natural law" is? How about "divine law" then? A Christian gatekeeping "divine law" will make very different choices from a Buddhist (or an Atheist) attempting the same thing.

Frighteningly, I think that's the whole point for Mastriano's Christian Nationalist crowd. 

Have you remembered where you've seen the name "Patricia McCullough" yet?

I'll give you a hint.

Got it now? Judge Patricia McCullough, who says that the only valid laws are those that "comport" with divine law, is married to a man who is currently doing time for multiple charges of theft and misapplication of funds:

Former Allegheny County Councilman Charles P. McCullough has been ordered to comply with his prison sentence next month following his recent loss at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

McCullough, who was convicted of multiple charges of theft and misapplication of funds, has a hearing in front of Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman set for April 6 to comply with his 2½- to 5-year prison sentence.

What part of "divine law" did McCullough's husband break?

Did you know that the story of Chuck's crimes gets even closer to Patricia?

From the Post-Gazette:

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report revealed that Ms. Jordan was upset by a number of political contributions that had been made in her name to Republican candidates — county council members Vince Gastgeb, Jan Rea and Susan Caldwell, and Cheryl Allen, then a candidate for Superior Court. In the story, she said the donations were orchestrated by Mr. McCullough.

“The donor was saying it was against her will to give such a donation,” Mr. Goetz testified.

At the time, Mr. McCullough’s wife, Patricia, was serving as the executive director of Catholic Charities, and just before the annual Bishop’s Dinner in May 2006, she announced that their fundraising goal of $600,000 had been met after a $10,000 donation was made by one of her husband’s clients.

How convenient for her to achieve the fundraising goal! And just before the annual Bishop's Dinner, no less? Must've been divine intervention, right?

Or a felony, which is what it was.

Oh, and one more thing:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed a Republican lawsuit seeking to invalidate the state’s mail-in ballots on Saturday evening, the latest legal defeat for Donald Trump in his unprecedented effort to overturn the result of the 2020 election. 

The latest Pennsylvania lawsuit, led by Republican congressman Mike Kelly, was unanimously rejected by the state’s Supreme Court judges, who described it as an “extraordinary proposition that the court disenfranchise 6.9 million Pennsylvanians who voted in the general election”. 

 Five of the seven judges argued the case should be dismissed because the challenge had come too late, considering that the absentee voting procedures in the state had been established a year ago. 

The court’s decision overturns an earlier hold on the state’s certification process made by Commonwealth Court judge Patricia McCullough.  [Emphasis added.]

Yep, that was her, too.