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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Nominee to Withdraw from Consideration
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Thomas Kistler may be removed from consideration for the state supreme court after an email he sent in 2013 surfaced.

Summary: Thomas Kistler, whose confirmation hearing was supposedly scheduled for tomorrow for his appointment to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, is now expected to withdraw from consideration in light of emails that have surfaced.

According to Penn Live, Thomas Kistler was one of Governor Tom Wolf’s choices to fill a pair of vacancies on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. However, it appears that Kistler will now withdraw his nomination. A confirmation hearing had apparently been scheduled for tomorrow, according to an anonymous source.


An investigation was launched in January into whether a Pennsylvania attorney is legally practicing law in the state.

Kistler apparently sent a “racially insensitive” Christmas greeting via email to some of his friends in 2013. The governor’s office said that Kistler’s appointment was being reviewed in light of the email.

According to the Huffington Post, the e-card contained a picture of a black couple during a jail visit, and said, “Merry Christmas from the Johnsons.” The card was apparently sent to 22 individuals, including some prosecutors. Kistler said, “There was absolutely no ill intent. It was a comment about how lightly people take being incarcerated.”

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Kistler currently serves as a Centre Court Judge.

Last year, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice was suspended for sending sexually graphic emails.

Jeffrey Sheridan, a spokesman for the governor’s office, said, “We’ve received a lot of information today, and he wants to review it.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee had hoped that Kistler would be able to take the bench as soon as March.

A former Pennsylvania state Supreme Court justice was also charged for inappropriate conduct during her campaign.

Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), said that the alleged emails “raised some questions that [he] didn’t think were fatal—at least not without more information.”

Leach added that he was hopeful that the seven-member panel would be operating in full again soon. Having only five justices on the court instead of the usual seven meant increased workloads for the judges, in addition to a narrower set of views.

Source: Penn Live

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