Grove City College Trustee David J. Porter ’88 took a ceremonial oath of office Tuesday, Dec. 18 to serve as Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, surrounded by supporters with ties to Porter’s alma mater.
College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 participated in the investiture ceremony in a large courtroom in the Federal Courthouse in Pittsburgh, offering an endorsement of his fellow alum and attorney.
“I have come to know countless lawyers over the course of my career. Some I would describe as brilliant. But in the category of extraordinary legal ability and moral character there is no lawyer for whom I have a higher regard than David Porter,” McNulty said. “As we recognize and celebrate Judge Porter’s appointment to this federal circuit, we must especially appreciate today as a good day for the rule of law.”
McNulty, who served as Deputy U.S. Attorney General under President George W. Bush, said Porter understands what it means to take the oath “to administer justice without respect to persons” and is capable of holding firmly to it. Porter “has been richly blessed by grace, and will serve the citizens of this country … with remarkable competence and exemplary character,” McNulty concluded.
As well as McNulty and First Lady Brenda (Millican ’80) McNulty, those on hand for the ceremony included Porter’s family, friends, colleagues, College Trustees, including Hon. Alice Moore Batchelder, Board Chairman David Rathburn ’79, Doug Wicker ’88, William A. Mehaffey ’64 and Secretary Emeritus Hon. Arthur J. Schwab '68, attorney John A. Schwab ‘98 and Dr. John Sparks ’66, retired constitutional law professor.
Porter was nominated to the court by President Donald J. Trump on April 12 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He was officially sworn in on Oct. 18 this fall and has already been working on cases. The Third Circuit Court covers Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Porter, who has served as College trustee since 2006, graduated Grove City College in 1988 and earned his law degree from George Mason University in 1992. He joined Pittsburgh law firm Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney as an associate in 1994 and later became a shareholder. His practice focused on regulatory, constitutional, and commercial litigation. He serves as an editorial board member of the Grove City College Journal of Law & Public Policy.