Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Should PA judges be appointed?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Feb 27, 2018 4:39 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, February 27, 2017:

In a matter of a just a few weeks, the lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters charging that the state's Congressional districts were gerrymandered by Republicans has turned into an all-out political showdown that involves the legislature, the governor, state and federal courts and now the U.S. Supreme Court.

After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the map drawn up in 2011 favored Republican candidates and ordered new districts from Republican legislators and Gov. Tom Wolf, the court decided to adopt a new map of its own.  Democrats elected to the Supreme Court are in the majority.

Republicans cried foul saying the court was partisan in favor of Democrats and a few even discussed impeaching justices because the court overstpped its authority by taking the redistricting process out of lawmakers' hands.

It's not the first time legislators have accused judges of deciding cases based on politics rather than the law, but it may be the loudest the case has ever been made.

Does it mean that more legislators are willing to consider changing how Pennsylvania selects its appellate court judges?  Currently, the state is one of only six that elects judges on all levels.

Will this latest controversy be the impetus for a move to appoint judges rather than elect them?

The non-partisan group Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts has long advocated for change.  The group's President and CEO Maida Milone is on Tuesday's Smart Talk to explain why. 

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President and CEO Maida Milone, Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts

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