PA Supreme Court to remain short-handed

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With Centre County President Judge Thomas Kistler’s announced withdrawal, the state’s high court will remain at five of seven seats, likely until the November elections.  Democrat Ken Gormley, was was the other high court nominee, will sit and watch his nomination die.

Currently, the Supreme Court is divided at 3-21 for the GOP.  The Senate will not act on Gormley’s nomination, because that would put the Court at a 3-3 deadlock.  In theory, does that matter?  No.  In reality, it does.  Politics are a reality when appointing Judges’ at any level of the state judicial system.  Nomination would have to go through the GOP controlled State Senate

Governor Tom Wolf indicated today that he does not plan to put forth any new nominees.  Three seats will be up for election to the high court come this year’s elections.  Here is a slate of possible nominees as of now with Bar Ratings.

Democrats

Christine Donohue, Superior Court judge from Allegheny County, PBA “Highly Recommended”

Kevin Dougherty, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge, PBA “Recommended”

John Foradora, Jefferson County Common Pleas Court judge, PBA “Recommended”

Anne Lazarus, Superior Court judge from Philadelphia and chair of the Judicial Conduct Board, PBA “Highly Recommended”

David Wecht, Superior Court judge from Allegheny County, PBA “Highly Recommended”

Dwayne Woodruff, Allegheny County Common Pleas Court judge and former cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers (He won a Super Bowl ring in 1979.), PBA “Recommended”

Republicans

Cheryl Lynn Allen, Superior Court judge from Allegheny County, PBA “Highly Recommended”

John Bender, Superior Court judge from Allegheny County, PBA “Recommended”

Anne Covey, Commonwealth Court judge from Bucks County, Republican Party endorsee, PBA “Not Recommended”

Michael George, Adams County Court judge, Republican Party endorsee, PBA “Recommended”

Renee Cohn Jubelirer, Commonwealth Court judge from Centre County and wife of former Lt. Gov. Robert Jubelirer, PBA “Recommended”

Judy Ference Olson, Superior Court judge from Allegheny County, Republican party endorsee, PBA “Highly Recommended”

Paul Panepinto, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge, PBA “Recommended”

Correale Stevens, appointed Supreme Court justice from Luzerne County, PBA “Highly Recommended”

Rebecca Warren, Montour County district attorney, PBA “Not Recommended”