Amid Email Controversy, Pa. Supreme Court Nominee Thomas Kistler to Withdraw Today

John L. Micek, Penn Live, February 23, 2015

Thomas Kistler, one of Gov. Tom Wolf’s picks to fill a pair of vacancies on state Supreme Court, will withdraw from consideration today, just one day ahead of an expected confirmation hearing, a highly placed state Senate source with knowledge of the situation said this morning.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said Friday that it was reviewing the appointment of Kistler, a Centre Court Judge, after revelations about a potentially racially insensitive Christmas greeting that Kistler, according to published reports, forwarded to a number of friends in 2013.


The Senate Judiciary Committee had scheduled a confirmation hearing on Kistler’s nomination for Tuesday, in hopes that he would be eligible to take his place on the bench for a scheduled week of arguments in March.


[Editor’s Note: Below is the offending Christmas card.]



Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • gemjunior

    He is a guilty of being a privileged white male who had the audacity to eye-roll a couple who everybody knows are the salt of the earth and ten times better than him…. he deserves to get fired. Fired from a cannon into outer space, never to be seen again! Who do these white men think they are, advancing our culture and building the structures we live in, inventing everything that keeps people warm in winter? sarc These black people hate thinking about that… in order to save some pride they pretend we “stole” all their science from them. I know. But somehow it works for them.

  • MekongDelta69

    I don’t see a problem here.
    Do you?

    • Nope, that’s funny as hell! Actually, the reason it’s so funny is because it’s so damn true!

      • Whitetrashgang

        Plus the black people look like they are in love and having a good time.

        • Magician

          look at that happy smile on the inmate’s face

      • badbox27

        I think it’s funny too. LOL

    • APaige

      Just one and it offends me.
      The card makes it seem as though they are married. The Johnsons, please the card should say “Merry Christmas Motherf*****s, from DeLaDarnelle Johnson and one of his babies’ momma, LaQuifa Jefferson.”

      • John Smith

        A more accurate one would’ve had several babymommas fighting and pulling each other’s weaves out as they met each while visiting.

        • Jeff

          Lol…I’ve been told in the old days that deputies would settle scores against inmates by “accidentally” swapping out letters in envelopes to various baby mama’s.

      • Diana Moon Glampers

        Well since babymamas give their offspring various last names correlating to who the father (possibly) is, it’s entirely possible this couple is unmarried but still share the same last name. Different mamas, unknown papas with the same last name. They might not need to get married to be family. Eww.

    • Rhialto

      I see a problem with a White man who holds public office (or wants to) E-Mailing that card in 2013. If he doesn’t realize the problems he may be causing for himself, he is mentally incompetent.

      • MBlanc46

        I think it’s a pretty good joke, but a judge who sends it out as a Christmas card is just begging for trouble.

    • Katherine McChesney

      Looks normal to me.

  • This is insensitive in a way. In order for this to be a genuinely accurate depiction of black America, the woman’s weave would have to be much longer and much bigger.

    • Look at her nails, too, they dont appear to be 8 inches long, so many inaccuracies in the photo.

      • John Smith

        Not enough jewelery or makeup either.

  • JP Rushton

    “that Kistler, according to published reports, forwarded to a number of friends in 2013.”

    It’s just like in 1984. You don’t know who to trust, since your friends can turn on you at anytime. So you just clam up and pretend like everything the media says is right.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      If you you know the difference between your friends and your ‘friends’ and you pick your friends right, you should be OK.

  • dd121

    Who is Kistler and what is his relationship to the Johnson’s?

    Pretty funny card, though.

  • Usually Much Calmer

    The guy in the greeting card is smiling because the woman in the greeting card is on the outside.

  • IstvanIN

    Who saves an email Christmas card from 2013?

    • Diana Moon Glampers

      The Utah Data Center does.

  • Tony Murphy

    Color me stupid but I don’t get the joke in the card…Can someone help?

    • Whitetrashgang

      Santas wife is the black woman.

      • Bill Moore


        I still don’t get it. What is offensive?

        What is the message in the card?

        Bill Moore

        • John Smith

          Negroes are mostly “guests” of our penal system? But then that’s true – anything true about blacks is also “racist.”

          • Bill Moore

            Hello John Smith,

            So, Thomas Kistler saw that the system is beyond repair, and he just decided not to be a part of it.

            And he withdrew his name.

            Bill Moore

  • MG Huffman

    What is racially insensitive about it? Oh, it must be that it says Merry Christmas instead of Merry Kwanzaa. Shame on those racists for forgetting about Kwanzaa.

    • shmo123

      Actually I did a little digging to see if I could find out just how many black people celebrate “Kwanza” every year. According to some guy named Mayes, who wrote a book about Kwanza, since the “black power movement” has declined, only about half a million to 2 million blacks celebrate kwanza every year. It’s just as well–it’s a dumb holiday (who has a harvest festival in winter?), invented by a convict so the brothers could sit around with their 40 ouncers. It gets about as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield holding a Festivus celebration.

      • MG Huffman

        Holidays in of themselves are fundamentally Eurasian. Holidays exist in cultures that evolved in places were there are seasons. We Europeans have always celebrated the harvest in fall, the winter solstice, and blossoming of spring, regardless of whether we added superstitious symbolism to it. In Africa every day is summer and there is no need to acknowledge the changing of seasons (which is virtually unrecognizable). Holidays are a custom of advanced races who evolved in more difficult places to survive.

  • Lygeia

    Next, people will get into trouble just for receiving an email like this rather than for just passing it on.

    • BillMiller66

      Or failing to report a potentially racist incident.

  • Magician

    Maybe some folks are upset that they used a rather obese black woman instead of a skinny one, because they fear that viewers might think all black women are as obese as she is.

  • Bill Moore


    I think the guy dropped out when he realized that he would be up against fools like this all the time if he took the job.

    I’ve been in elected and appointed offices, and when it came time to decide whether to run again, my thoughts would turn to things like that. Is the satisfaction I get from doing the job worth the having to deal with the fools.

    In my case, and probably in his case, we really didn’t need the job. We were getting along just fine without it, and just thought that it we could do some good for society.

    Thank you for letting me express my opinions. I stopped watching television because the only way that I could express my opinions was by throwing my shoe at the television set.

    Bill Moore

  • H. Leonskoi

    “…forwarded to a number of friends in 2013.” Friends? Communist informers? KGB agents? Thought police? Is this the Soviet Union? These communists have no compunction about taking people to task for their private communication? And the opposition is doing what to oppose this?

    Racially insensitive? How does that compare to Polar Bear hunting. Raping white women? Murdering whites? Rioting black gangs? And the opposition is doing what?

  • Bill Moore


    Does anyone know what the sign means that she is giving with her right hand?

    Bill Moore

    • PostBunnie

      Looks like “I love you.” Not ASL but a common enough sign. Not to be confused for the hard rock/metal “devil horns” sign. m/

      • Bill Moore

        Hello PostBunnie,

        Hmm… That’s probably one of those things that everyone knows but me.

        Thank you for informing me,
        Bill Moore

        • PostBunnie

          At first glance it would be easy to assume some sort of gang related display, but luckily we’re not prejudiced here.

          It’s funny, I hadn’t noticed her hand at all until I read your comment. Then I was all “oh goody maybe I can finally utilize my vast and pointless knowledge of gang signs!” But nope. Pleasantly surprising loves.

  • Diana Moon Glampers

    Kinda like commenting here?

  • Slayer88

    I used to like living in PA but the more I learn about our state legislature and the courts here, the more I am looking to get out. Crooked, corrupt, communist cronyism at every turn.