May 05 2011

Public Hearing on the Judiciary

Published by under Merit Selection

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Constitutional Review Commission subcommittee on the Judiciary held a public hearing at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute in Philadelphia. Testimony was given by representatives of Justice at Stake (JAS), the Jewish Social Policy Action Network (JSPAN), Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (PMC), and the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania as well as attorney John W. Morris.

Testimony included discussion of court funding, merit selection, and judicial discipline. PMC found support for its merit selection plan in representatives from JAS, JSPAN, and the League of Women Voters, all of whom spoke strongly in favor of merit selection. These testimonies emphasized the harmful effects of a judicial selection system infused with money and politics. Judge Phyllis Beck spoke on behalf of JSPAN and described the organization’s support for merit selection, and added her personal experiences with various methods of judicial selection to demonstrate why she favors merit selection over other procedures. The speakers acknowledged that merit selection cannot entirely remove politics from the process, but explained that it is best way to decrease politics and remove money from judicial selection.

The hearing will be broadcast on PCN on Friday, May 6th at 8:10 P.M.

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