Support HB 1336 and SB 44, the Merit Selection Bills
Please support House Bill 1336 and Senate Bill 44, which would introduce merit selection of appellate court judges in Pennsylvania.
For more than 50 years, the Philadelphia Bar Association has campaigned for merit selection of appellate court judges in Pennsylvania. The issue is so important to the Association that merit selection is written into our bylaws.
This year, we have an historic opportunity to hopefully bring merit selection to Pennsylvania. House Bill 1336 and Senate Bill 44, currently pending in the General Assembly, would establish a bipartisan Appellate Court Nominating Commission to evaluate candidates for appointment to judicial office. The Commission would recommend five of the most qualified candidates, reflecting the geographic, racial, ethnic, gender and other diversity of the Commonwealth.
Coming on the heels of several judicial scandals and the most expensive appellate court election in our history, the time is right for Pennsylvania to embrace merit selection. While both bills are in play, it is likely that House Bill 1336 will come up for a vote in the House of Representatives in May.
On behalf of the Philadelphia Bar Association, I urge you to contact your legislators and tell them that you support merit selection of appellate court judges. Use the Association's convenient Legislative Action Center, which automatically inserts the names of your legislators into a model letter based on your address.
Visit the Legislative Action Center and express your support for merit selection today.
Gaetan J. Alfano
Chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association