House bill would change the way PA selects judges

Written by Radio Pennsylvania and Smart Talk | Jul 23, 2016 9:23 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- Should Pennsylvania change the way it selects appellate court judges? 

Judges for Commonwealth, Superior, and state Supreme Court are currently elected, making Pennsylvania one of only six states to utilize this method.

Professor Emeritus John Gedid from the Widener University Commonwealth Law School says there is one obvious disadvantage when it comes to  electing judges.

"When we are talking about appellate court judges, the electorate doesn't know who they are.  They don't know anything about tghem.  They are voting blindly," he said.

Even so, Professor Gedid says it's not likely to change because voters in Pennsylvania don't want their opportunity to directly choose judges taken away.

A proposed amendment to the state constitution would switch to a merit selection system. That bill is pending in the House. 

Professor Gedid appeared this week on Witf's Smart Talk program.  More at

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