Gavel Grab

PMC Executive Director Promotes Merit Selection on TV Panel

The Pennsylvania Cable Network’s Pennsylvania Neighborhoods program hosted a special panel recently on the state’s selection methods for judges.

Executive Director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, Lynn Marks, spoke during the panel on proposed efforts to change Pennsylvania’s system of judicial elections, according to a PMC press release. Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is a Justice at Stake partner organization.

Sen. John Eichelberger (R), Sen. Anthony Williams (D) and Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Kathleen Wilkinson also spoke on the panel.

Eichelberger recently proposed legislation that would let judges maintain statewide jurisdiction, but would have appellate judges run in and be elected by regional districts. Williams has put forth a bill that would allow for a merit selection system of all Pennsylvania judges (see Gavel Grab).

During the panel, Marks expressed her support for Williams’ bill to establish a system of merit selection. She argued that the need for campaign fundraising in judicial elections is a major issue. A judge does not perform the same role as a legislator, and judges should not be selected in the same manner, she said.

The PCN-TV’s panel on judicial selection can be seen here.

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