Election Day Roundup -- State Supreme Court

A less talked about race today is the fight for the state Supreme Court between Republican Joan Orie Melvin and Democrat Jack Panella. If you’ve missed it, this has been one hell of a scuffle.

Check out this John Baer column on the race. He questions the state practice of electing judges, and suggests that random selection may work as well.

An excerpt:

Pennsylvania, no surprise, is among only a handful of states with partisan judicial elections at all levels.

The others? Such progressive giants as Alabama, Louisiana, Illinois, Texas and West Virginia, the state with the lowest percentage of college grads in the nation.

As for those mewling and whining, "Oh, we want to keep our vote"? Really, do you? Then why does turnout in judicial elections run around minus-4 percent?

Given what Pennsylvanians do with their vote, we should have merit selection not only for the state bench but also for the Legislature. In fact, for the Legislature we should try random selection. Would we be worse off?

To read the full column, click here.

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