Archive for April, 2010

Apr 30 2010

Merit a "Hot Reform Issue"

Capitolwire today named merit selection for judges a “hot reform issue,” listing reasons why supporters are eager to rid Pennsylvania of judicial elections. [T]he elections are expensive, it’s unseemly to make judges rely on campaign contributions from lawyers and big groups whose cases will likely come before them, the judges can’t really tell voters what […]

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Apr 29 2010

Let's Get It Started

It is hard to amend the Pennsylvania constitution.  Doing so requires passing the same piece of legislation twice — once each during successive two year sessions.  That’s only the beginning.  After second passage, the question goes on the ballot, where the people vote in a referendum on whether to approve the amendment.  This takes a […]

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Apr 27 2010

Governor’s Call for Merit Strikes a Chord Around PA

After Governor Rendell’s news conference last week calling for merit selection for Pennsylvania’s appellate court  judges, editorials around the state have been echoing the governor’s endorsement of this reform. The Chambersburg Public Opinion has made its voice heard as well, pointing out that the public can no longer feel confident in the impartiality of our […]

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Apr 23 2010

Smart Talk Focuses on Merit Selection

This morning at 9:30 PMC Executive Director Lynn Marks will appear on WITF’s Smart Talk (89.5 and 93.33 FM Harrisburg)  to discuss Merit Selection and the Governor’s call for the legislature to move the legislation. Passage by the legislature is only the make money online first step in the lengthy constitutional amendment process.  If the […]

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Apr 22 2010

Pennsylvania is Talking About Merit Selection

Yesterday’s call by Governor Rendell for the legislature to pass the pending Merit Selection bills has got Pennsylvania talking.  An editorial in the Philadelphia Daily News shares the Governor’s sense of urgency to pass the legislation and argues: “Imagine if judges didn’t have to rely on the kindness of ward leaders, or the luck of […]

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Apr 21 2010

Governor Calls on Legislature to Pass Merit Selection and Let the People Decide

Published by under Merit Selection

Governor Rendell held a news conference today stressing the importance of House and Senate bills that would change the way Pennsylvania chooses its appellate judges from elections to Merit Selection. The constitutional amendment process requires that Pennsylvanians vote on this proposal to make such a change. The governor has long endorsed this critical reform issue […]

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Apr 20 2010

Governor to Address Merit Selection

Governor Rendell will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Harrisburg to discuss merit selection of judges. At PMC we are happy that the governor is addressing such an important issue and pressing for action. Pennsylvania currently selects all of its state judges in hugely expensive, contested partisan elections. PMC and other reformers […]

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Apr 20 2010

When It Rains: More Trouble for the PA Judiciary

Published by under Judges,Merit Selection,News

Two of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin’s sisters have been indicted on charges that they improperly used legislative resources to further the Justice’s 2009 campaign for the Supreme Court. While the Justice herself has not been charged, the Legal Intelligencer reports that some are calling the indictment part of a “perfect storm” brewing […]

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Apr 15 2010

Shadow Cast on the Supreme Court

An editorial in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer charges that confidence in our state’s highest court has been lost. Last week state Senator Jane Orie and her sister, Janine Orie, were indicted on charges that they improperly used state resources to aid the campaign of a third sister, Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Janine Orie has […]

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Apr 10 2010

Chief Justice Castille is Concerned

Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille, in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer about the recent charges filed against State Senator Jane Orie and her sister Janine Orie, who works in the judicial office of Justice Joan Orie Melvin, expressed concern about how the developing story might impact the Court: “‘It’s not good, I can tell […]

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