Harrisburg, Aug. 30, 2016 − State Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and his Senate colleagues today raising concerns about the process being used to confirm the governor’s nominee for Attorney General.
In the letter, Williams’ points to controversy over “bigoted, racist, homophobic, and misogynistic emails” as the basis for his concern about the process used to replace interim Attorney General Bruce Castor.
Castor stepped in for former Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who was recently convicted of charges related to leaked grand jury documents.
Williams’ letter follows:
August 30, 2016
Today marks a significant moment in PA’s judicial restoration. While all would agree that a stain upon the integrity of the attorney general’s office has been removed, the manner in which we as a commonwealth move forward is equally as important.
While I understand there has been a decision to move to confirm a nominee immediately, I am very concerned about the process and the resultant nominee. The events that surrounded the removal of the previous A.G. go directly to whether the public can trust that justice is blind, balanced and fair in Pennsylvania. The revelation of bigoted, racist, homophobic, and misogynistic emails, exchanged amongst Pennsylvania’s members on the bench, down through the ranks of those that have the privilege to protect and serve our communities, has rocked the trust that basic, working class Pennsylvanians have in our judicial system. In particular, for people of color, women, and those fighting for their sexual orientation.
I don’t know Mr. Beemer, and I look forward to our meeting to discuss his views on the operation of the A.G’s office, but in the meantime we are moving to confirm him without the normal question/answer hearings. Especially confirming a person whose name has consistently come up in the middle of the investigation of the emails and allegations of cover up. Let me state that I don’t know if any of these allegations are true; that is why the confirmation hearings are needed for public confidence!
I am not suggesting, nor asking, for the current process to stop, nor am I trying to influence anyone’s vote. What I am saying is, as we watch events unfold across this country, these dots are connected. The great experiment of democracy is steeped in the belief that we are a country of laws, and we CHOOSE to respect them, because we trust those that are responsible for the execution of those laws. This expedited process of confirmation, and the parties involved, draw serious questions from those on the outside, looking in.
I will not participate today, not as a protest, but simply because I have too many questions.
Anthony H. Williams
State Senator – 8th District
Cc: The Honorable Tom Wolf, Governor