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Supreme Court Nominee Withdraws From Race After Being Caught Sending Racist Christmas Card

A white GOP supreme court nominee has officially withdrawn his name from the candidate pool after it was revealed that he sent a racist holiday card featuring a black woman visiting a black man in jail.

via Philadelphia Inquirer

A Centre County judge tapped by Gov. Wolf to fill a state Supreme Court vacancy is withdrawing his nomination after coming under fire last week for an e-mail that some claimed was racially insensitive.

Judge Thomas K. Kistler, the president judge in Centre County since 2012, confirmed Monday he is removing his name from consideration.

In a statement, Kistler made no mention of the e-mail or the furor surrounding it. Instead, he said that “several circumstances have developed here, at home, in Centre County, which have dramatically altered the legal system and require my full attention.”

Kistler, a 57-year-old Republican, had been backed by GOP senators who control the state Senate.

His spokesman Jeff Sheridan said the governor does not plan to name new nominees, and the two vacancies on the high court will remain until the election in November.

The Inquirer reported Friday concern from legislators and others over an e-mail sent in December 2013 by Kistler titled “Merry Christmas From the Johnsons.” The message depicted a black man and a black woman during what appears to be a jail visit. The man, smiling and wearing an orange prison uniform, sits behind a glass window.

Forwarded with a subject line that read “best Christmas card ever,” the message also includes cartoon depictions of Santa Claus and reindeer.

Kistler has confirmed that he had forwarded the message, but maintained that there was no ill intent.

These guys will NEVER learn. SMH. Did you find the details of this card offensive?

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