(WHTM) – Tuesday’s election is still reverberating throughout the commonwealth. It was a big win for Democrats up and down the ballot.
Superior Court Judge McCaffery will become a Supreme Court Justice in January after a bitter and expensive campaign. He’s headed to Florida for a break after a long campaign and goes there supremely satisfied.
McCaffery said, “To be honest, we’re still a little bit numb. I mean, I was. You’re so tired by the end of it.”
Justice-elect McCaffrey is numb, tired, and surprised at the margin. He won by 6% (53% to 47%) and 200,000 votes (1.6 million to Republican Carylon Carluccio’s 1.4 million) in what are typically close races.
Kevin Brobson won a Supreme Court seat by 25,000 votes two years ago, less than 1% point.
“This was, you know, Notre Dame football versus Little Sisters of the Poor, ” said McCaffrey. “When Carolyn Carlucci called me the other night, she said, you know, you got this, this wasn’t close. This was a mandate you got.”
A mandate, he says, because of the United States Supreme Court dictate overturning Roe versus Wade over a year ago.
McCaffery said, “It became the issue, became the driving issue, in our in our campaign. I don’t think there was a day that went by where people didn’t ask questions about women’s reproductive rights.”
McCaffery made clear he believes those rights are protected under Pennsylvania’s constitution. The right message at the right time.
“I’m not going to delude myself or your listeners into thinking I’m some you know, that I learned at the hand of Oliver Wendell Holmes,” said McCaffery.
He’ll now transition from the Superior Court which he calls an error-correcting bench to the more analytical Supreme Court, restoring a 5-2 majority for Democrats, and insisting that shouldn’t matter.
McCaffery said, “There’s no Democratic or Republican way to decide a case.”
But as the seventh justice, there will be no ties.
“I’m the youngest of an Irish Catholic family of seven. I know what it means to get to four,” said McCaffery.
The tone and cost of the race were noteworthy. An estimated $25 million was spent mostly on negative ads and mostly by third-party groups.
“That’s very dangerous because it leads to the public’s perception that we are politicians and we’re not,” said McCaffery. “They were just distasteful at best, at worst defamatory. Somebody spent a lot of money against you, but I guess they didn’t get their money’s worth. Well, I’ll send them a Christmas card.”
Voters gave McCaffery his gift a few months early.
McCaffery will be sworn in in January and will sit for his first cases in March.