The Dauphin County Democratic Committee strongly opposes the confirmation of David Porter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. We understand that different parties and members of Congress will have differing views as to what makes a suitable nominee. But we hold that David Porter is well outside of the mainstream, and utterly unsuited to serve in a lifetime position on one of the highest courts in the country.
David Porter, far from being a fair-minded Constitutionalist, has spent his time before his nomination opposing workers' rights, civil rights, environmental protections, and LGBTQIA+ rights. The latter of these makes his Senate Committee Hearing during Pride Month particularly egregious. In his confirmation hearing, furthermore, he declined to comment as to whether he supported the ruling in the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education.
But perhaps worst of all is that his confirmation hearing occurred in the first place, over the objections of Pennsylvania's Senior Senator, Bob Casey. Senator Casey, despite having previously turned in his blue slip for many nominees he did not personally support, including newly seated Third Circuit judge Stephanos Bibas, chose not to do so for David Porter. The blue slip - a symbol of the consent of a Senator from a state being served by a judicial nominee for hearings to proceed - is a tradition now more than a century old, with a long history of bipartisan usage. Junior Senator Pat Toomey, in fact, used his blue slip to slow down the President Obama judicial nominee Luis Felipe Restrepo back in 2014. Even more partisan, Toomey used his blue slip power to block the nomination of eminently qualified, Rebecca Haywood altogether. At the time, his objection of Assistant U.S. Attorney Haywood was honored, as were many similar objections to judicial nominees by Republican Senators during the Obama administration, leading to the unprecedented number of judicial vacancies.
It is tiring but not surprising to see that so many of the Senators who sought to obstruct every judicial nominee they could during the Obama administration - Merrick Garland amongst them - now seeks to label any check on their power unprecedented and unwarranted obstruction. What we are seeing happening to the federal courts, exemplified by David Porter, is a clear sign that the Senate GOP has no interest in bipartisan governing or traditions, but simply in solidifying their own political power long after they have left office.
The Dauphin County Democratic Committee strongly opposes the nomination of David Porter.