The White House has made some bad deals with Republican senators, trying to get some judicial nominees through. One of those Republican picks, Michael Boggs in Georgia is facing what looks right now to be insurmountable opposition from Democrats, making the process a headache for the White House and Senate leadership. That problem won't be repeated in Pennsylvania, where progressives have effectively derailed a nominee "aligned with groups opposed to abortion rights, gay rights and gun control."
Keystone Progress, a statewide progressive advocacy group, has been campaigning for months to prevent Sens. Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) from recommending corporate lawyer David Porter to President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The group learned in late March that Porter was part of a package of as many as eight judicial nominees being negotiated in "a backroom deal," and Casey and Toomey were expected to present it to the White House at any moment.These bad nominees—the ones who are absolutely antithetical to what President Obama stands for and who would tarnish his legacy for the whole of their lifetime terms—don't have to be forwarded. The solution is pretty darned simple, if Senate leadership is willing to do it. Stop honoring the blue slip tradition that allows the minority to block a nominee. The White House is making these bad deals to try to get some good nominees through. It doesn't have to work that way and we don't have to be stuck with bad judges for decades to come.
The group immediately launched a campaign urging people to oppose the "Tea Party lawyer" potentially headed for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench, and teamed up with MoveOn.org and RH Reality Check to circulate petitions to stop Porter's nomination. Among other things, Porter heads the Federalist Society's Pittsburgh Lawyers Chapter, helped found a coalition that tried to stop Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation, and is a contributor and trustee at the conservative Center for Vision and Values.
Two months later, after collecting nearly 40,000 signatures, the group's efforts appear to have paid off. Two sources familiar with negotiations on the package told The Huffington Post that Porter is out and the package has stalled.