Porter Nomination Being “Rammed Through” Despite Objections

Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1, 2018 – Alliance for Justice today released a report on the record of David Porter, Donald Trump’s nominee for a seat on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. AFJ President Nan Aron released the following statement:

“David Porter’s nomination faces overwhelming opposition from tens of thousands of people in his home state of Pennsylvania, and from one of his home-state senators, Senator Casey, who has withheld his blue slip. Pennsylvanians don’t want Porter on the bench because they know he has a record of hostility to accessible healthcare, workers’ rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and racial equity. Yet this nomination is being rammed through by Senate Republicans, who are once again trampling the rights of home-state senators and constituents to rubber-stamp an unsuitable Trump candidate for the bench.”

Among other things, AFJ’s report finds:

  • Porter’s nomination is being advanced as a result of a political power grab by the Senate Judiciary Chairman, Chuck Grassley, who is refusing to honor Sen. Casey’s blue slip. This is a reversal of Grassley’s approach to a 2016 nomination for the same circuit made by President Obama, when Grassley honored the withheld blue slip of Pennsylvania’s other senator, Sen. Pat Toomey, and did not advance the nominee.
  • Sen. Casey had previously indicated he could not support Porter’s nomination; when Porter was nominated despite Casey’s objections, Casey issued a strongly-worded statement: “As a lawyer, David Porter has advocated legal theories that stack the deck against workers, deny Pennsylvanians access to health care and undermine the equal protection of our laws for all Americans…It is unfortunate that this Administration has decided to nominate, over my objections, an individual who is far outside the mainstream to a lifetime appointment to one of the most important courts in the nation: the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.”
  • Porter is a contributor to The Center for Vision & Values, a think tank that regularly hosts anti-LGBTQ activists as speakers and publishes articles critical of marriage equality and birth control.
  • Porter has published articles arguing that the Affordable Care Act, which enabled millions of Americans to access health care, is unconstitutional.
  • Porter published a piece praising former Attorney General John Ashcroft as someone who is “pro-life, pro-death penalty, anti-gun control, prefers judges who exercise restraint and strictly construe the Constitution, and disfavors quota-based affirmative action plans.”
  • Porter joined anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ activists in forming the Pennsylvania Judicial Network, a partner group of the extreme right-wing Judicial Crisis Network.

Read the full report here.