State Rep. Bryan Cutler, House majority whip and a Republican from Peach Bottom, has introduced House Bill 111,which seeks an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow for the merit selection of appellate judges. Jurists on the Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme courts currently are elected by voters.
This is not a new idea.
Legislation proposing the merit selection of judges has been floated before, repeatedly, to no avail — by Cutler and others, including Attorney General Josh Shapiro, when he served in the House of Representatives.
But Cutler and his lead co-sponsor, Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean of Montgomery County, believe HB 111 improves on previous bills and has a better chance of seeing the light of day. It was approved by the House Judiciary Committee, but it has a very long way to go (it needs to pass in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly before even going to the voters).
Read the full Lancaster Online editorial here.
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Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to ensuring that all Pennsylvanians can come to our courts with confidence that they will be heard by qualified, fair, and impartial judges