The results are in for the Pennsylvania primary judicial elections held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.
In Philadelphia voters in the Tuesday primary selected 12 Democrats from a highly populated roster of candidates for judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. As there was only one candidate running on the Republican ticket, it is a nearly definite that 11 of those 12 democratic candidates will assume seats on the bench after the November general election.
The twelve candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court filed their second round of campaign finance reports on May 8th. The 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans reported contributions and expenditures for the period from March 31st to May 4th. The primary is on Tuesday, May 19th, but even before the primary, the race is nearing $5 million in total money raised by the candidates.
A recent change to the way criminal cases are processed in Luzerne County has resulted in a significant drop in the number of backlogged cases in the county. Court officials predict that this modification could reduce costs and relieve the demand on court resources.
The Philadelphia Bar Association released it's final round of ratings for judicial candidates today. Candidates are rated "Highly Recommended," "Recommended," or "Not Recommended."
For more information about the ratings process, check out the Philadelphia Bar Association's website HERE.
The United States Supreme Court today issued an opinion in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar upholding the ban on personal solicitation by judicial candidates. The opinion emphasized the unique position of judges, stating specifically that "Judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot."
Under the leadership of its highest court, Pennsylvania is breaking ground in the growing legal area of elder justice. The Elder Law Task Force was formed in April 2013 to comprehensively study the issues of access to justice for older Pennsylvanians.