Tag Archives: PA Supreme Court

Wolf readies search for Pa. Supreme Court appointee

by Brad Christman, WITF, 3/21/17

(Harrisburg) — Governor Tom Wolf is looking for potential appointees to the state Supreme Court.

Under the state Constitution, the governor names an appointee to the vacant Supreme Court seat and that person must then garner a two-thirds majority confirmation vote in the state Senate.

He says he doesn’t have short list.

“I want to make sure working with them to come up with a nominee who is acceptable,” Wolf says. “I want this to be as open as possible.”

The governor says this process will not play out like Supreme Court standoff in Washington D.C….

keep reading at WITF

East Whiteland Election Results Analysis

by Bill Holmes, East Whiteland Dems, 11/18/15

For the third consecutive Township Supervisor election, a Democratic Supervisor candidate has won a hard fought contest. The last 2 Supervisor races have been decided by less than a 1% margin. These small margins reinforce what we have been communicating to voters in recent elections – each vote matters!

Generally speaking, Democratic candidates did well in East Whiteland. Here are some of the highlights in the township.

All of the Supreme Court candidates outperformed their opponents and captured nearly 55% of the overall votes.

Court of Common Pleas judicial candidate Julia Malloy-Good won East Whiteland with nearly 54% of the vote.

County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone was the top vote getter for the County Commissioner’s race. It should be noted that this is the first time that a Democratic candidate for a county row office seat has won in East Whiteland.

These results reflect the hard work of our Committee people and volunteers. Once again we have demonstrated that grassroots efforts can make it a difference. Please consider getting involved as there are plenty ways to volunteer.

Dougherty, Dems, sweep historic Supreme Court race

by Chris Palmer, philly.com, 11/3/15

HARRISBURG – Democrats on Tuesday won all three open seats on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, a stunning result in a historic race that could dramatically reshape the powerful but scandal-plagued institution for years to come.

Judges Kevin Dougherty, David Wecht, and Christine Donohue will join the seven-member bench in January, creating a dominant 5-2 Democratic majority as the court is poised to consider landmark cases involving the death penalty, natural-gas drilling, and legislative redistricting.

Dougherty, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge and brother of city labor leader John J. Dougherty, was the only Philadelphia-area candidate to win. He also was poised to outpoll all candidates, days after the city’s Democratic establishment publicly urged voters to support him.

Republicans had controlled the bench since 2010, and hoped to retain the majority. But the Republican nominees – Judges Judy Olson, Mike George, and Anne Covey – were solidly defeated, as was independent Paul Panepinto….

keep reading at philly.com

Upcoming judicial races are important

editorial, Daily Local News, 10/19/15, from Delco Times (learn more about Dem-endorsed candidates Donohue, Dougherty and Wecht here).

Here’s a little Pennsylvania political pop quiz:

How many seats on the state Supreme Court are up for grabs on the November ballot?

How many candidates are seeking them?

Can you name one of them?

How many of you took an 0-fer? We are not surprised. The guess here is that you have lots of company in Pennsylvania, which clings to the antiquated notion of putting judges on the state’s highest court through the political process.

Yes, it does allow voters to exercise their franchise. And too often we get the court that process specializes in – political power players and those able to raise obscene amounts of money – rather than those most qualified to sit on the bench.

Let’s review the circumstances that created this rare occurrence, with seven candidates seeking to fill three vacant seats on the state’s highest court….

keep reading at Daily Local News

Why the PA Supreme Court elections matters so much on Nov. 3

Three PA Supreme Court seats are up for election on Nov. 3. That group of 7 will decide if future efforts to restrict voting and the scheduled 2021 redistricting meet the requirements of the US and PA constitutions. If all the state courts remain Republican-dominated, we will have more of the anti-voter pattern coming at us from the south and west, as shown on this map from The Brennan Center:

Voting restrictions










See To retake the Pennsylvania legislature, Democrats first must regain the state Supreme Court and State Judicial Races: Who Cares?. The Corbett-era Voter ID law intended to screen out many voters likely to be voters was struck down by the PA Commonwealth Court in 2014 but could always be resurrected with the PA Supreme Court as final decider.

Environmentalists weigh in on Pennsylvania Supreme Court race

By Jon Hurdle, npr.org, 10/13/15

Four environmental groups on Tuesday endorsed three candidates for November’s elections to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, saying the court will likely have to make constitutional judgments connected to energy development and carbon emissions in coming years.

Clean Water Action, the Pennsylvania Sierra Club, PennEnvironment, and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania said they were making their first-ever endorsements for the court because the candidates would help to promote environmental interests when the court hears expected cases on fracking and climate change.

The endorsed candidates, all Democrats, are Christine Donohue, a state Superior Court judge since 2007; Kevin Dougherty, an administrative judge at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and David Wecht, a Superior Court judge since 2012….

keep reading at npr.org

Pay attention to court races

by Harold Jackson, Opinion Columnist, Philadelphia Inquirer, October 9, 2015, 1:08 AM

Pennsylvania voters aren’t paying enough attention to the coming state Supreme Court election, but that will likely change very soon with an expected onslaught of TV ads paid for in large part by special interests taking advantage of loose laws, which allow political groups to spend like drunken sailors so long as their organizations are not directly tied to a candidate’s campaign.

It really shouldn’t take hyperbolic issue ads that stretch the truth to get people excited about the election. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has had more drama than a season of episodes of Days of Our Lives.

Of the three vacancies on the court, two are the result of justices being forced to step down….

keep reading at Philadelphia Inquirer