Jun 05 2012
PMC and PMCAction are disappointed to report that the House Judiciary Committee today tabled Merit Selection (H.B. 1815) on a 13-12 vote. Instead of moving forward a bill that would give Pennsylvanians the opportunity to decide for themselves whether there is a better way to choose appellate judges, the Committee responded to pressure by special interest groups that would prefer not to let the people decide this issue. Such groups clearly believe their best prospects lie in electing judges that agree with them and fear the results of a system that takes judges out of the campaign and fundraising businesses.
A 2010 pollof Pennsylvania voters revealed that 93% want the chance to vote on whether to adopt Merit Selection. (A summary of the poll is available). A positive vote in Committee would have moved us one step closer to letting the people vote.
It has been more than forty years since the public voted on this issue. Much has changed since then: elections have become incredibly expensive, special interests (including some out-of-state organizations) are funding judicial campaigns, and a sitting Supreme Court justice has been indicted for alleged improper campaign activity.
It is past time for the people to be heard. We will continue to work to bring this issue to the people so they can decide whether there is a better way. We trust the voters to make this decision; it is unfortunate that others do not.Tags: H.B. 1815, House Judiciary Committee, judicial elections, Merit Selection, PMC, PMCAction