Jennifer Bendery reported yesterday on Huffington Post that a “source familiar with the nomination process” says President Donald Trump is close to nominating David Porter to the Third Circuit. (I first saw the report on How Appealing.) Porter is a Buchanan Ingersoll partner in Pittsburgh who clerked for then District Judge (future Third Circuit Chief Judge) D. Brooks Smith. Bendery writes:
Porter’s nomination to the Third Circuit is expected to be announced in the next couple of weeks, per this source, and is being pushed by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), one of Porter’s home-state senators.
The same source reportedly says that PA’s other senator, Democrat Bob Casey, has serious concerns about Porter’s nomination. Bendery says Casey has “warned the White House he’s prepared to withhold Porter’s blue slip if Trump nominates him.”
The article (keep in mind Huffington Post is liberal-leaning) contains some background on Porter:
President Barack Obama nearly nominated Porter, a Republican corporate attorney, to a district court in 2014 as part of a bipartisan package deal that also included Democratic judicial nominees. But progressive groups torpedoed that agreement by launching a campaign highlighting Porter’s ties to groups opposed to abortion rights, LGBTQ rights and gun control.
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Among other things, Porter led the Federalist Society’s Pittsburgh Lawyers Chapter, helped found a coalition that tried to stop Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation, and has been a contributor and trustee at the conservative Center for Vision and Values.
I’ll have more (a lot more, knowing me) to say about Porter if he’s nominated, but for now I’ll just repeat what I said a few weeks back: there are two Pennsylvania seats, one a holdover that should be filled by an older moderate and one a new opening that Republicans should be free to fill with the qualified nominee of their choosing, and at least two of the three circuit openings should be filled by a woman.
UPDATE: The Huffington Post story doesn’t give Porter’s age. His law firm profile indicates he graduated law school in 1992 and college in 1988, suggesting he’s around 51.