Wozniak Bill Would Change How Pennsylvania Judges Are Elected
HARRISBURG – State Sen. John N. Wozniak announced that he will introduce legislation to change the way judges are elected in Pennsylvania.
The legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to change the current statewide election system to a region-based election system.
“Recently, four former governors of Pennsylvania have endorsed a merit selection system for judicial elections,” Wozniak said. “It is my opinion that regionalizing our appellate courts provides better representation to all corners of the Commonwealth, not just Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It is also important that the people actually recognize at least one of the judges on each of the benches.”
The legislation would create seven districts for Supreme Court, seven districts for Commonwealth Court and seven districts for Superior Court. At each retention election for a judicial seat, a district would be randomly selected to be filled.
Requirements for office would be the same as they are now except to include a residency requirement identical to the state Senate requirement. The seat would be secured for ten years. This process would be replicated until all positions are filled.