Why care about the race for Pennsylvania Supreme Court? While it seems removed from your life, this court can have the final say on a multitude of issues impacting you daily. For example, the League of Women Voters Guide question is about enforcement of environmental laws. Most laws and many lower court decisions can be challenged, thus ending up before the higher courts.
This year, for the first time since before Pennsylvania became a state, three vacancies exist out of seven seats. Winners will reshape the court for years to come. Both parties have six candidates running for three spots, but voters have little information.
The Pennsylvania Bar Association evaluates candidates’ abilities and accomplishments as lawyers, not as politicians. You can Google “PA Bar evaluations 2015” to find the full texts of their reviews, as well as questionnaires candidates submitted to them.
Each party has three “highly recommended” candidates. For Democrats, those candidates are Christine Donohue, Anne Lazarus, and David Wecht, who are sitting judges on the Superior Court.
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Republican candidates rated “highly recommended” are Cheryl Allen and Judy Olson, currently on Superior Court, and Correale Stevens, currently appointed to a vacancy on Supreme Court.
The future of the court is up to you.
The writers are public policy co-chairwomen of the AAUW of State College.