Big Labor’s PA Supreme Court Pick

Member Group : Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania

April 22, 2015:

On May 19th, Pennsylvanians will take their first step to fill three open spots on the commonwealth’s Supreme Court. There are twelve candidates between the Republican and Democratic primary ballots. Of those twelve, one is clearly the favorite of Pennsylvania’s labor unions: Judge Kevin Dougherty.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer notes:

"Of the $707,931 he had collected through March, more than half came from laborers and at least $302,000 from one union: the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – led locally by his politically influential older brother, John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty…No other candidate in the race has received nearly as much union money as Dougherty, according to campaign records."

The volume of the contributions Judge Dougherty received from organized labor raises questions about his judicial philosophy. As Judge Dougherty notes in the Inquirer Article, "We grew up in a home where social justice issues were important." He also considers himself a "passionate advocate for the disadvantaged".

While those sentiments make for good soundbites, they are concerning in the context of the Supreme Court’s role in determining the constitutionality of the law and the application of statutes based on the language of the law. At the state and federal level, we have seen legislating from the bench in the form of judicial activism. Judge Dougherty’s statements and his intimate relationship with organized labor should provoke the anxiety of any voter who believes that the constitution and laws mean what they say. And, not what a judge wants them to say.

Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. By empowering the Commonwealth’s employers and taxpayers to break state government’s "Iron Triangle" of career politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Government lobbyists, this restoration will occur and Pennsylvania will prosper.