AFA of PA ACTION ALERT
April 29, 2019
What Merit Selection of Judges Could Mean to PA
Currently Pennsylvanians get to vote on judges. In fact, on May 21st we will be voting on statewide Superior Court judges as well as lower court judges. Pennsylvania is one of only a handful of states that elect judges. However, there are some who want to change all that and put the placement of judges into the hands of commissions and politicians! What just happened in Kansas is a perfect example of why judges should be elected and not appointed by politicians:
The Kansas Supreme Court, by a 6 to 1 decision, just found that there is a right to abortion in that state’s constitution! Section 1 of the Kansas Bill of Rights say, “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The judges concluded that this section gave Kansans the ability to control one’s own body!
According to their website the court, “consists of seven justices, each of whom is selected by the governor. The governor appoints from a list of three qualified individuals submitted by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission. After the first year in office, a justice is subject to a retention vote in the next general election. If a majority of electors votes to retain the justice, he or she remains in office for a term of six years. Justices are subject to a similar retention vote at the conclusion of each term.”
HB 111 has been introduced and is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. It is a constitutional amendment which would, among other changes, eliminate the direct election of judges and put their selection in the hands of a commission, the Governor and the State Senate.
A committee hearing is scheduled for tomorrow in room 205 of the Ryan Office Building.
Contact the Judiciary Committee and let the members know merit selection of judges is not a good idea – The voters should be given the ability to vote for judges. An unelected commission, that is not accountable to the people, should not be given the authority to choose who will be the “finalists” to fill open judicial seats.
At a minimum, please contact the Chair and Democratic Chair with this message.
Chair: Rob Kauffman — (717) 264-3943
Democratic Chair: Tim Briggs — (610) 768-3135
Klunk – (717) 630-8942
Sheryl Delozier – (717) 761-4665
Tedd Nesbit – (724) 458-4911
Todd Stephens – (215) 368-5165
Matthew Dowling – 724) 438-6100
Torren Ecker – (717) 259-7805
Jonathan Hershey – (717) 436-6001
Barry Jozwiak – (610) 378-4407
Jerry Knowles – 570) 668-1240
Natalie Mihalek – (724) 942-2045
Paul Schemel – (717) 749-7384
Tarah Toohil – (570) 453-1344
Jesse Topper – (814) 623-9097
Justin Walsh – (724) 929-2655
Melissa Shusterman – (484)
Tina Davis – (267) 580-2660
Jason Dawkins – (215) 744-7901
Gerald Mullery – (570) 740-7031
Ryan Bizzarro – (814) 835-2880
Summer Lee – 412) 273-3400
Dan Miller – 412) 343-3870
Christopher Rabb – (215) 242-7300
Mike Zabel – 484) 200-8262