Measure to appoint Pa.'s appellate judges moves forward

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 20, 2015 12:48 PM

The Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Harrisburg) -- A proposal to authorize a statewide referendum on whether Pennsylvania's appellate judges should be appointed by the governor has cleared its first vote in the Legislature. 

The House Judiciary Committee has voted 16-11 to start the process of amending the state constitution to end the practice of electing judges to the Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth courts.

Under the measure, a committee appointed by the governor and legislative leaders would recommend candidates to fill court vacancies.

The governor would nominate one and the appointment would be subject to Senate approval. 

The bill would require approval in two successive legislatures before it could be sent out to Pennsylvania voters for ratification.

A spokesman for the House Republican majority couldn't say whether it has enough support to pass the entire chamber.

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