On Voting for a Supreme Court Justice
Widener University School of Law invites all Pennsylvanians to make an informed choice when voting for Supreme Court candidates in the May 15th primary. We live in a time when issues of separating politics from law are in the news - whether it be the independence of United States Attorneys or debates over pay raises for judges. Yet Pennsylvanians have no one source for information about the candidates or the job they are seeking. Often, they are provided no more than a politician's list of his/her endorsed candidates.
For a court with seven Justices, the public will vote to fill two seats. [This Fall voters will also decide whether to retain a sitting Justice, the Honorable Thomas G. Saylor. Because Justice Saylor will not be on the May primary ballot, information about him is not included here. ] The decision is momentous, as this election will determine almost one-third of the Court's members.
This site is meant to serve as guide. For each candidate, it provides a biography (that from the individual's own webpage or an official court or political party site) and the rankings and evaluations of each candidate as prepared by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. It also offers a brief summary of the role of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in our Commonwealth.
Vote. It is our choice, our responsibility, and part of our freedom. And vote smart - the decision will shape the judiciary and Pennsylvania's justice system as we move forward in the 21st century.
Overview of Candidate Ratings for Supreme Court of Pennsylvania:
Judge C. Darnell Jones II, Philadelphia County (Democrat)
Judge Paul P. Panepinto, Philadelphia County (Republican)
Judge Debra Todd, Allegheny County (Democrat - Party Endorsed)
Judge Maureen Lally-Green (Republican - Party Endorsed)
Judge Michael L. Krancer, Montgomery County (Republican - Party Endorsed)
Judge Seamus P. McCaffery, Philadelphia County (Democrat - Party Endorsed)
Judge Willis Berry, Philadelphia (Democrat)