On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I urge you to oppose the nomination of Western District of Pennsylvania Judge Peter Phipps to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. We have both procedural and substantive concerns about this nomination.
Senator Casey strongly opposes the elevation of Judge Phipps to the Third Circuit. Historically, this lack of support from a home-state Senator would have prohibited committee consideration of the nomination, much less a confirmation vote. Senator Casey has said he has "significant concerns about Judge Phipps' judicial and constitutional philosophy" and does not believe the nominee had enough experience to be a circuit court judge.
During the last two years of the Obama Administration, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee did not grant a hearing or vote to a single judicial nominee unless they had support from both home-state senators. Now, however, the Republican committee chairs have abandoned any pretense for collegiality—Judge Phipps will be the fourteenth circuit court nominee to receive consideration and a vote without such support.
We agree with Senator Casey that the "degradation of the blue slip process is a loss not just for the Senate, but also for the Americans served by our federal courts." The AFL-CIO urges you to oppose the nomination of Mr. Phipps to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
William Samuel, Director
Government Affairs Department