Editorial: Given PA Court’s ‘Rap Sheet,’ It’s Time for Merit Selection

Various editorial boards’ hammering at the scandal-ridden Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and urging a switch to merit selection of top judges to pick better qualified jurists, is unrelenting. The latest comes from LancasterOnline.

The editorial mocks the “court rap sheet” that includes one ex-justice convicted of corruption and two others disgraced, having resigned in an offensive email scandal. It finds the big money-fueled, partisan system for electing justices wanting and declares, “We believe a merit system is the answer.”

“We are hesitant to take away power from voters. But, given the scandals revolving around the state’s elected judges, and the meager voter turnout — one in five of eligible voters came out during the past election cycle — our current system has left us with little choice,” the editorial says. “The General Assembly should pass this bill. It would represent an important step toward judicial independence. It would also allow for an honest evaluation of those mysterious, mythical strangers we call judges.” You can learn more about the legislation from these earlier Gavel Grab posts.

Meanwhile a Philadelphia Inquirer headline said, “Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice calls for review of emails of everyone in state porn scandal.”